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Harry's Story

Harry's Story

Harry, 59, renal patient

Harry has been a Type 2 diabetic since 2001. He did not manage his medication very well, and didn’t want to take insulin as he was concerned that his car insurance payments would rise. His nerve endings were damaged on his hands and legs, his blood sugar was at 40 and his iron levels at 38. This happened within two months of being advised to take insulin and deciding against it.

Harry says:

“My legs were full of water and swollen and I had an ulcer on my left foot. My wife was changing my socks and noticed a hole in my foot, it was gangrene and really badly infected. In the end my toe needed to be removed to prevent further infection.”

After that Harry was in hospital for 9 weeks. He had had kidney issues for 5 or 6 years and his kidneys were gradually deteriorating. The last 3 weeks that he was in hospital for his feet, his kidneys failed as his protein was too high and he was unable to be discharged. Harry started dialysis in 2019.

 “Physically I could do nothing but mentally it was driving me mad as I have worked all my life. I had plastic bags on my feet to enable me to shower. I was also exhausted due to low iron levels. I’m no longer on insulin and my whole family and I have learned from my mistakes.”

“The nurses are my angels; they can’t do enough for you. It’s like one to one care. They are always laughing and joking. It feels like a family, you want to come up here. We are a team. If you ask for a favour, it’s never a no, they will do what they can.”

“A friend died on a motorbike and the funeral was on a Friday. They asked another person to swap places with me. Transport was sorted; I didn’t have to think about anything. It’s a comfort feeling supported by the team. We share information, ask about each other’s lives. It’s like a community within a community.”

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