16 August 2016 – Local Men Receive Medals for Living with Diabetes
Two Craven residents have been awarded medals in recognition for living for 50 and 60 years with Type 1 diabetes.
Eric Jaquin and Stuart Thornton were presented with the Diabetes UK medals at a special ceremony at Airedale Hospital’s Diabetes Centre.
Type 1 diabetes develops when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. Patients with Type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin regularly to keep blood glucose levels stable and to stay alive.
Eric, from Skipton, is a councillor on Craven District Council and received the Alan Nabarro medal for living with diabetes for 50 years. He was diagnosed in his twenties the same week that England won the 1966 World Cup – and missed the match because he was in hospital: “I went on to have a long career as a civil engineer, marry and have children, which is something I thought I wouldn’t be able to do with diabetes. I am very grateful for the care I’ve had from Airedale’s diabetes team and would say to anyone with the condition that, if you listen to the advice of healthcare professionals, you too can have long and happy life.”
Stuart, from Cowling, was formerly curator and guide at Skipton Castle and now, with his guide dog Chester, is a speaker for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. He received the Robert Lawrence medal for living with diabetes for 60 years and was diagnosed with diabetes when he was just four years old; “I had to spend 13 weeks in Keighley Victoria Hospital while I was stabilised. Diabetes treatment has changed dramatically over the last 60 years; we used to have glass syringes and I had one of the first insulin pumps that was the size of a backpack – nowadays my pump clips onto my belt.
“I am proud to receive this medal and want to thank the diabetes team at Airedale hospital for all their support.”
Diabetes consultant Dr Andrew Pettit presented the medals, with Trust Chairman Michael Luger. Dr Pettit said that patients like Stuart and Eric made his job more enjoyable; “Diabetes can cause other health complications for patients, but seeing Stuart and Eric living long and active lives with the condition shows that, while it is a long term condition, it needn’t be a life sentence.
“Alan Nabarro and Dr Robert Lawrence were two remarkable men who lived with Type 1 diabetes in the days when treatment was very primitive – in fact Dr Lawrence was the first person to use insulin as a treatment, in 1923. Diabetes care has come a very long way over the last 90+ years and Stuart and Eric are living proof of this.”
Chairman Michael Luger added; “I am proud to have met Stuart and Eric and credit should go to them for taking control of their condition. While our teams are here for support, education and treatment, at the end of the day it is the individual’s attitude and commitment to self-care which makes all the difference.”
More information about diabetes can be found at www.diabetes.org.uk and by contacting your GP.