Diabetes sufferers honoured

PUBLISHED: 11:34 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010

Picking up the awards

Picking up the awards

TWO women have been praised by Diabetes UK for the way they have coped with the disease. Awards have been given to Mary James and Margaret Swallow, both from Stevenage. Consultant physician Dr Felicity Kaplan presented them with their awards at Lister Hos

TWO women have been praised by Diabetes UK for the way they have coped with the disease.

Awards have been given to Mary James and Margaret Swallow, both from Stevenage.

Consultant physician Dr Felicity Kaplan presented them with their awards at Lister Hospital's diabetes clinic. Both have type 1diabetes.

Mary James was diagnosed in 1954 at the age of 25. A year earlier, she had had a baby and her resulting poor health had masked the symptoms of her developing diabetes.

She lost a lot of weight and eventually was admitted to hospital weighing just six stone.

Mary remembers the old Nightingale wards and the ward sister being starchy and strict. She was started on once-daily insulin injections, but now takes four a day.

Margaret Swallow was 17 when she was diagnosed in 1956. She too was admitted to hospital having lost weight and was down to 6st 7lbs. She was started on once-daily injections and remains on that regimen to this day.

Margaret has two children and three grandchildren and continues to enjoy two rounds of golf a week.

When she was pregnant with her first child, she spent a total of six weeks in hospital.

Thanks to developments in diabetes care, this is something that rarely, if ever, happens to today's pregnant mothers who happen to have diabetes.

Overall Margaret feels that the biggest advance has been in how easy it is now for people to test their own blood sugar levels, which in the past was quite complicated and less efficient.

After the awards presentation, Lister's diabetes nurse specialist Lynn Barker said: "The event was a lovely occasion and we congratulate Mary and Margaret on their fantastic achievement. They are living proof that it is more than possible to lead a great life and live with diabetes - as long as you manage your condition carefully.


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