New life for Fethard ‘can do’ kids

A South Tipperary family has had their lives transformed after their three children with Type I diabetes successfully adapted to pioneering treatment which enables them to live their daily lives free of insulin injections.

A South Tipperary family has had their lives transformed after their three children with Type I diabetes successfully adapted to pioneering treatment which enables them to live their daily lives free of insulin injections.

Nine year old Ben, seven year old Emily Mai and five year old Harry Ryan, who between them had to take fifteen injections a day, have been given a new lease of life through insulin pump therapy, which is a mini computerised device which continually infuses insulin under the skin and optimises their blood glucose control.

It is very unusual to have three children in the one family with type I diabetes and more unusual again for all three to take to the insulin pump therapy.

The three children live with their parents Richie and Jane Ryan at Coleman, Fethard. A diabetes nurse specialist has praised the “can do “ positive attitude of the family during the process.

Their mother Jane had a path worn to Clerihan national school where Ben and Emily Mai go to school and to Harry’s playschool in Fethard to administer injections and normal activities like birthday parties and visits to friends’ home were difficult to enjoy.

“Diabetes was controlling our lives but we just don’t know ourselves now. The difference it has made to all our lives has been just incredible,” said Jane.

The kids were diagnosed at South Tipperary General Hospital and referred to Cork University Hospital in 2012 where they were under a multi disciplinary diabetes team. The life changing option of insulin pump therapy was proposed and the three children underwent trials and came through that process.

Ben and Harry were diagnosed at two years old and Emily Mai when she was four.

“A phone call from diabetes nurse specialist Norma O’Toole last year has since completely changed all of our lives,” says Jane Ryan

“Norma said CUH was ready to offer insulin pumps to the three children. The trials went very well which meant the injections could stop. It has changed our lives for the better.” said a delighted mother.