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24 and blind the tragic consequence of type 1 diabetes denial

A 24 year old woman from Stirlingshire has spoken out about how her refusal to treat her type 1 diabetes with care has led to devastating consequences.
Colette Irvine is blind and is in need of a kidney transplant to save her life. She has spoken out to let other youngsters know that the development of blindness and kidney failure can develop rapidly if type 1 diabetes treatment is ignored.
Diagnosed at 8 years old, Colette, like many youngsters found type 1 diabetes increasingly difficult through her teenage years and into adulthood. She admits being too naive and says she did not understand how devastating the complications of diabetes would be or how soon they could come on.
Some of the actions that hurt Colette the most were stopping taking her insulin injections as a protest against her mum and would often eat the same foods as her friends, such as carbohydrate heavy junk foods.
The youngster has been registered as blind because of extensive retinopathy and has been fitted with a gastric pacemaker as she has developed a condition called gastroparesis which means that the nerves that control her stomach are too damaged to function properly.
In addition, Colette has acute kidney failure and will rely on a kidney transplant to extend her life for up to another 10 years. Of the kidney transplant, Colette says: “It would be a waste as the doctors have already told me my diabetes is going to kill men, plain and simple.”
Colette says: “If I had seen someone like myself at a younger age, someone who has gone blind and could not look after themselves any more, it probably would have been a wake-up call.”

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