Gerald Law, a diabetes patient at East Surrey Hospital, has been presented with a Diabetes UK medal for successfully living with the condition for 70 years.
The Horsham pensioner received his medal at the recent (March 18) open morning at The Earlswood Centre, a new hub for diabetes and endocrine care for people in east Surrey and West Sussex.
The former mechanic was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was just 2 years old and has controlled his condition with daily insulin injections for more than seven decades.
Mr Law, 75, said: “It was so long ago there was no NHS when I was first diagnosed. People’s understanding of the illness is so much better now – and the needles are much smaller now which is great.”
The team of specialist doctors and nurses at The Earslwood Centre recently moved from East Surrey Hospital which is run by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Now in the heart of the community they are keen to raise awareness of the help they offer people who are living with the condition.
Susan Stockley, lead diabetes specialist nurse, said: “Education is key to encouraging people living with diabetes to live healthier and longer lives. The large new space means we can run separate clinics for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and clinics for young adults and people using an insulin pump.
“We can also treat patients with monogenic diabetes which means they no longer have to travel to Brighton and Oxford and we are bringing diabetes and endocrine care for local people into one place.”