Monday 14 October 2019

Kyle (10) inspires his classmates

Kyle Blanchfield (right) with Eoin Treanor.
Kyle Blanchfield (right) with Eoin Treanor.

Myles Buchanan

St Patrick's National School pupil Kyle Blanchfield explained to his fellow classmates his daily routine as someone with Type 1 Diabetes and how he refuses to let it disrupt his life.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition affecting one in 500 children with onset over days or weeks. The condition tends to occur in childhood or early adult life and will require daily insulin therapy. It is caused by the body's own immune system destroying the insulin-making cells (beta-cells) of the pancreas.

Kyle (10) was initially diagnosed in January of 2017. After falling sick, he was rushed to hospital and placed in intensive care as insulin was placed into his body.

Describing his symptoms to his classmates, Kyle said: 'I started getting really thirsty and had to go to the toilet a lot. I suffered form weight loss and started to feel nauseous. I also started to feel tired and drowsy all the time and was also breathing rapidly.'

His classmates asked Kyle how he felt after his diagnosis.

'At first it gave me a big shock. What do I have? What does it mean? Now that I know what it is I forget I even have it. I'm just normal. About a month later I was fine with it,' replied the youngster.

He also demonstrated how to use a Libre Sensor which is placed on his hand while a small sensor automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night. The sensor updates the glucose result up to every minute and will alert Kyle's parents by phone should his levels drop.

'Using a little needle means I would end up with holes all on my fingers. You could be injecting yourself eight times a day which works out at around 60 pricks per week. The libre gives your fingers a rest from all the finger pricking. With the Libre you just scan it and it's done,' added Kyle.

His fellow pupils certainly seemed to find Kyle's talk inspiring, with one classmate commenting: 'I think he is a great man and very brave.'

Another impressed pupil stated: 'I'm always in awe of how you do your blood and still get on with your normal life'.

Others were impressed with how he still actively engages in sports such as football and athletics despite his condition.

In summary Kyle concluded: 'I just want to encourage other kids that diabetes isn't scary and you just continue on with your life.'

Wicklow People