Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Leonard Thompson Thank You !

What a party we will have the day we can finally blow out this flame.

Leonard Thompson

90 years ago today, on the 11th of January 1922, 14 year old Leonard Thompson lay dying in a hospital in Toronto. He had type 1 diabetes, which in those days was an inevitable death sentence.He weighed only 65 pounds and was about to slip into a coma and die. He was the first human to be given an injection of the experimental substance that came to be known as insulin. The first extract was impure and caused a massive allergic reaction, but after 12 days a way had been found to purify this truly miraculous substance.

Thompson showed signs of improved health and went on to live thirteen more years taking doses of insulin, eventually dying of pneumonia at age 27

Until insulin was made clinically available, a diagnosis of diabetes was an invariable death sentence, more or less quickly (usually within months, and frequently)

The wonderful men who discovered insulin sold their patent to the University of Toronto for one Canadian Dollar. Without that incredibly unselfish act, modern insulin's and treatments would be years behind where they are now.

I would also thank his amazing parents for allowing their son to be used in a "live clinical trial" where nobody could at that point guarantee the out come.

Sometimes it's hard for me to read articles. It breaks my heart how my daughter's condition was fatal in the not too distant past. It also highlights that 90 years on, there still is no cure and Type 1 is increasing year on year. This highlights what a complex, chronic condition it is.

That not only mystifies us but the scientists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It also makes me proud that my little 10 year old, helps me keep her healthy.

Huge hugs to all with Type 1 and their families, to live with the condition day in day out is one huge achievement.


  1. Nice post, I had not heard the story before. Thanks for sharing, I like your blogging.

  2. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age 6 and still am and im now 18 my mom is also type 1 so i was born with it and i give props for all those young kids and your child so lets keep up all the hard work we all have to keep and stay healthy ;) thanks for sharing this information with me it means so much and helps ever second in life.