A nine-year-old boy with type 1 diabetes who is allergic to insulin has been fitted with a device which could prove revolutionary in improving his health.
Taylor Banks, from Leigh, Greater Manchester is the first child in the UK, and one of the first few in the world, to be fitted with the Accu-Chek DiaPort device. The device delivers insulin directly into Taylor’s abdomen so it avoids contact with his skin.
Taylor was diagnosed aged two, but following insulin treatment he experienced a severe allergic reaction to the drug. Injections would lead to pain and rashes, and Taylor’s parents were running out of places to inject their son.
Aged seve, Taylor was referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Taylor tried using an insulin pump, but this caused welts on his body that turned into abnormally sunken skin, according to Taylor’s mom, Gema Westwell. His blood sugar had to be monitored throughout the day and night to ensure he did not become unconscious.
Over the summer Taylor’s family met a specialist and agreed to trial the DiaPort device, which was fitted at Great Ormond Street Hospital last month. The titanium device allows insulin to be delivered by insulin pump directly into the peritoneal cavity; an area inside the body that is rich with blood vessels.
Taylor’s dad Scott said: “It’s still early days but we’ve already noticed the changes. Most importantly Taylor’s blood sugar levels are significantly lower and much more balanced.
“He isn’t in any pain, he hasn’t had any reaction in his skin and he’s sleeping better. For the first time Taylor identified on his own when he was having a hypo, which is just brilliant.
“This progression means everything to us. We’re so grateful to all of the nurses and doctors who have helped Taylor. I just hope now that this will help him to have a chance at being a normal little boy, back in school and playing with his friends.”
The DiaPort device is successful for Taylor because it administers insulin further into the body, bypassing body fat to get into the bloodstream. This can speed up the insulin’s capability to control his blood sugar levels.
Jude Sutto, from JDRF’s North team said: “Taylor, like all living with type 1 diabetes, is showing extraordinary bravery in dealing with what is a tough condition.
“His allergy to insulin makes life even tougher but we hope this positive news provides Taylor and his family with some much-deserved respite.”

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