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Hi-tech device transforms young diabetes sufferer's life
4:10pm Friday 5th October 2012 in News
Buy this photo Charlie with parents Martyn and Angela
A PIONEERING way to manage diabetes has changed the life of the first county youngster to get it on the NHS, his mother has said.
Type 1 diabetes sufferer Charlie Evans has worn a device that monitors his blood sugar level taped to his back for the last year.
If it detects he is getting too much insulin it sends a signal to another device that administers a drug to the eight-year-old to rectify the problem.
And it can tell if his blood sugar is dropping too low, cutting the risk of life-threatening hyperglycemic episodes.
Now he has raised £900 for a diabetes charity to raise awareness of the condition.
Mum Angela Spiby said Charlie previously needed 10 to 12 daily finger-prick blood tests and six injections.
Mrs Spiby said: “It is fantastic, he can do anything now.
“It has changed his life. He has more freedom to do things. I was having to go to his school a lot more, now I don’t have to.”
Three years ago, the Orchard Field Community School pupil was temporarily paralysed down one side after a night-time episode.
Now his parents can check if he needs insulin throughout the night as the sensor sends out an alarm.
Mrs Spiby, of Fairway, Banbury, said: “He looked like had a stroke. It was the worst time of my life. He was trying to smile at me but couldn’t.”
The 44-year-old – who has three grown-up children – added: “When he was first diagnosed I was shocked, I thought he was going to die.
“You had to get on with it. It was probably two months later when everything quietened down it hit me.”
The youngster raised £900 with a 5km sponsored walk around Drayton Manor Theme Park, Staffordshire, on Sunday.
The event was for charity JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation UK), which funds research into type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes is caused by too much glucose, or sugar, in the blood.
Type 1 usually occurs during childhood when the pancreas does not produce any insulin to regulate blood glucose levels.
High glucose levels can seriously damage organs and the condition requires regular insulin injections.
In type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin.