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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Maureen is walking off the need to inject insulin

MAUREEN Dover was on what was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime when she suddenly fell seriously ill.

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Maureen Dover: Strict regime

She and husband Melvin were on a cruise in the Chilean fjords began suffering from a dry, salty mouth before collapsing.

Doctors on board the liner diagnosed her with a blood condition.

With the boat five days from port she spent that time wearing an oxygen mask and confined to a wheelchair until they could transfer her to a clinic.

After three days she was transferred to a clinic in Santiago and was told she was a type two diabetic and insulin dependent.

Maureen, who was 67 at the time, said: “Diabetes is something I knew about as both my parents died diabetic and three of my four brothers are also diabetic.”

She had to stay in a Chilean clinic for three weeks and, convalesce in a hotel for several more days before she was well enough to fly home.

Even then, it was only with a nurse by her side and she had to be taken by ambulance to hospital in Newcastle before being placed under the care of medics at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary.

Maureen, of Stainton, near Penrith, has spoken to highlight her story as part of Diabetes Awareness Month and to explain the steps that those with the condition can take to improve it.

“I had to get into the diabetic pattern of planning what I was going to eat, then meticulously calculating and working out how much insulin I would need to take,” she said.

“While I was in the Clinica Alemana, Dr Sergio Majlis had encouraged me to walk as much as possible.”

That advice has stuck with her – so much so that Maureen no longer has to use insulin. She said: “He told me that if I walked at least 3km per day it would kick start my pancreas.

“Seven months after I became ill, we were walking around the lake at Bowness-on-Windermere when we stopped to have a picnic.

“I went to do my sugar test and found I was down to two – which meant I didn’t need to take the insulin. I telephoned my GP when I got home. He said it was a good thing I hadn’t taken the insulin as I would have gone hypo. From that day on I’ve not needed my insulin and that is six years ago.

“I now walk four miles a day.”

CStory@cngroup.co.uk

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