A 55-year-old British woman has become the first person in the world to have pancreas transplant due to her severe needle phobia.
Brit Sue York suffered from type-1 diabetes since she was seven. She was terrified of administering her insulin injections. Sue York would shake uncontrollably and vomit when injecting herself with insulin.
‘Pancreas transplantation is less common than kidney or liver transplantation, and only 200 such transplants are performed in the UK each year with more than 300 people on the waiting list.’
In 2012, she reached a critical point when the DVLA had changed its regulations on diabetic drivers, insisting to check blood glucose levels before driving and once every two hours behind the wheel. Sue York would take 20 minutes to inject herself with insulin. In an attempt to cure needle phobia, she had tried hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, but it failed.
Sue York discussed her eligibility for transplant with a panel of doctors. Questions were raised over the need for transplant, as Sue York did not have kidney complications. It took two years for her from Lincoln to be placed on a waiting list for transplant.
The three hour surgery at Manchester Royal Infirmary has doubled her life expectancy.
She said, "No longer am I struggling to walk up a flight of stairs, getting breathless walking into the wind. No longer is my skin yellow or grey. No longer do I look constantly exhausted."
"I've had to get new glasses because my eyesight has improved and feeling has returned to areas on my feet where I'd begun to lose sensation."
Surgeon Dr Raman Dhanda, said, guidelines were currently in place nationally and internationally to ensure those with the greatest need received transplants.
"I don't know who my donor is, but I thank them and their family from the bottom of my heart," added Sue who runs an antique shop with her husband Robert, 58.