Diabetic Groom-To-Be Dies After Taking Cheaper Insulin To Save Money For Wedding

At 26-years-old, Josh Wilkerson was no longer covered by his stepfather’s private health insurance. This was especially unfortunate because Josh was diabetic.

His insulin, which cost almost $1,200 a month, was much too expensive for him to afford. While he made $16.50 an hour at a local dog kennel, he wasn’t able to put aside that kind of money to pay for insulin on a monthly basis.

Instead, Josh decided to switch insulin to save money, especially since he was about to be married. He found a medication that cost $25 a vial and made the switch to that.

It was a switch that cost him his life, according to his family. Erin Wilson-Weaver, his mother, spoke to The Washington Post about his death. He was only 27 when he died on June 14th. She said that the insulin he bought did not work for his body.


Josh had been carefully rationing the more expensive prescription. After talking to his doctor, he decided to switch to a much cheaper over-the-counter version that can be purchased for just $25 a vial at many stores.

According to The New York Post, this type of insulin is known as “human insulin” and requires more time to start becoming effective compared to the other version. However, it only cost one-tenth of what he was paying before, so it seemed reasonable for Josh to make the switch.

Rose Walters, Josh’s fiancée, said that they figured they could make it on $25 a vial. Josh began using the cheaper insulin just last winter. Josh was among 30 million residents of the United States that live with diabetes every day, according to The American Diabetes Association.

They were planning a rustic barn wedding for that year's October and had been trying to save money in order to pay for it.

Wilson-Weaver wrote a post about the incident, saying that too many people are being faced with terrible decisions when it comes to taking care of their type 1 diabetes. Josh complained of stomach issues to his soon-to-be-wife over FaceTime one night before signing off. However, he suffered from multiple strokes later on and ended up in a diabetic coma. His blood sugar was 17 times higher than what is considered normal.

Watch his story in the video below:

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