Kevin celebrates 55 years of good health with diabetes

Date: 10 June 2019

Diabetes Kevin

The serious and lifelong condition can cause blood glucose level to become dangerously high if not managed properly, and requires rigorous blood testing and daily insulin injections.

Sittingbourne resident Kevin Jones was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a 10 year old on Boxing Day in 1964. In his adult life Kevin has attended regular clinics as a patient of the Trust and with the support from doctors and specialist nurses, along with his beloved wife Jackie, he continues to maintain an excellent level of health, having never been hospitalised due to a diabetic complication.

Kevin, now 65, says he has always found the support and advice from the Trust’s staff, particularly consultant Dr Andrew Gough, instrumental: “It was a really tough learning curve at fi rst, because you need to learn a lot, and quickly; it can be very stressful to manage diabetes without the proper support.

“No one can look after you more than yourself, and this is the attitude that I have always had, but Dr Gough and his team have been vital to me over the years. He [Dr Gough] is brilliant, he’s so friendly and easy to talk to, and the treatment I have received has been great.

“I’ve been a patient of the Trust for so long now, almost 30 years; I have fond memories of visiting the Peter Simons Diabetes Centre at Medway Hospital.

“The staff have always helped educate me about my condition so I am in control and can safely manage diabetes – everyone has been so caring and they provide me with advice and support whenever I need it.”

Along with the support from the Trust, Kevin says the development of treatment has been crucial in helping him to manage his condition so carefully: “I remember in the early days, we had to inject insulin with big glass syringes and long sharp needles, and the only way we could keep a track of blood glucose levels was through a really complicated urine testing system.

“Now I check my blood glucose levels painlessly with my fl ash glucose monitor and inject insulin within seconds using a portable pen – it’s brilliant! You cannot compare today’s technology to how we used to treat diabetes then.”

Kevin says his positive attitude and awareness of his condition has allowed him to live life to the full: “It has never stopped me from doing anything I have wanted; from travelling the world, to playing sport regularly and working in a full-time job.

“It has been a lot of hard work, but the advances in technology and the amount of support I have been lucky enough to receive has been invaluable.”

Kevin, pictured right with his wife Jackie, was awarded the Alan Nabarro medal in 2014 to mark 50 years of living with Type 1 diabetes.

  • Summary:

    The serious and lifelong condition can cause blood glucose level to become dangerously high if not managed properly, and requires rigorous blood testing and daily insulin injections.