Woman with type 1 calls for greater hypo awareness after cola incident

Benedict Jephcote
Mon, 25 Mar 2019
Woman with type 1 calls for greater hypo awareness after cola incident
A Cambridgeshire woman, who was prevented from taking a bottle of sugary cola into a play centre to treat her hypoglycemia, has called for greater awareness.

Brooke Ashton was told to take the fizzy drink away by staff, at a play centre based in Guyhirn, despite explaining that she needed it to raise her blood glucose levels in the event of a hypo.

Brooke, who lives in Wisbech and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 23 years ago, was visiting the indoor play area with her children.

Brooke said: "I get very confused and anxious and sweaty when I'm having a hypo, especially when I've got my children with me, that makes me feel more anxious."

Speaking to Cambridgeshire Live, she added: "My son took my coat over to the table where food was going to be served, and I saw a member of staff approach him and she’d seen a bottle of Coke in my pocket.

"I went over and said it’s mine and that I was diabetic, straight away she said it doesn’t matter and that I wasn’t allowed it. She just wasn’t interested. I showed her my insulin pen to try and explain but she said if you need something you can just buy it from the bar.

"I didn't want to make a fuss because we were with the kids. I thought causing a fuss at that particular point in time wouldn’t achieve anything because I wouldn't have got the answers I needed."

While there may be the option to buy sweet drinks at a venue, the time taken to buy a drink could use up precious minutes or seconds that could put someone with type 1 diabetes at a greater risk of severe hypoglycemia.

Furthermore, it can add significant stress to someone with type 1 diabetes if they faced with having to use extra time to get hold of a sugary treatment that they would usually rely on having on their person.

Speaking about her type 1 diabetes, she said: "You live with it, you have to get on with it, but when you have to encounter stuff like this it makes it a whole lot more difficult."

Brooke is now calling for more training and awareness to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.
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