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Sheila Thorn, whose story moved many, dies aged 81

Diabetes UK is very sad to announce that Sheila Thorn, whose recent media work has helped raise awareness of diabetes, passed away earlier this week at the age of 81.

Sheila’s inspirational story touched many people with diabetes, and was very well received on Facebook. Sheila (pictured right) saw developments in insulin through the ages, having originally been treated by Dr Frederick Banting, one of the discoverers of insulin.

Witnessed change in treatment


She was also the first child to be treated by RD Lawrence, who co-founded Diabetes UK along with the novelist HG Wells.

As well as seeing changes in the treatment of diabetes over the years, Sheila also saw many medical advances through her work as a senior cardiac technician in hospitals – which included witnessing the introduction of ECGs and open heart surgery from the front line.

Richard Lane, President of Diabetes UK knew Sheila well. He said, “Sheila was a good friend of Diabetes UK and we are very sorry to hear of her death.

An inspiration to people with diabetes

“Only a few weeks ago, she did media interviews on our behalf to help raise awareness of diabetes. The response on Facebook to those interviews showed that she was an inspiration to people with the condition and she will be missed by all those who knew her.

“Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.” 

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