Two boys on bikes with their mum

Hayden (6) Sidney (4) mum Erin Callaghan, attend the Diabetes Service at Coffs Harbour Health Campus

Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Jul 14, 2023

At three years of age, Hayden Callaghan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

His mum Erin knew there was something amiss when family shopping trips became more troublesome than usual.

“I knew that we had to get him looked at when we couldn’t make it through the grocery shopping without taking him to the toilet, even though he had gone before we started shopping,” Mrs Callaghan said.

While the mum-of-three was grateful for a quick diagnosis by their family GP and support from the Diabetic Service at Coffs Harbour Health Campus, she was more than surprised when doctors told her younger Sidney son also had the condition.

“We were very lucky to find out early that both of our boys had Type 1, many families don’t realise and some children end up in an emergency in a life or death emergency,” she said.

There is no current cure for Type 1 Diabetes and researchers are still working on the exact cause but events such as National Diabetes Week (9 – 15 July) are driving awareness about what impact it has on families.

“The boys’ diagnosis changed every facet of our day-to-day living. They can’t eat without us making a decision about it, the timing of that what they are eating, the carbohydrate content, how much insulin they will need and then the impact of that over the next few hours,” Mrs Callaghan said.

“It is all consuming every day, every night 24/7, a very big life adjustment but very manageable – and it won’t stop them that’s for sure.”

The boys have been welcomed into the Diabetes Service family at Coffs Harbour Health Campus, a team who provide general support and advice, hypo management, counseling for complications, management plans, and much more.

“Del and the team at Coffs Harbour Health Campus are amazing, they even traveled out to the boys’ schools to provide education and training to the teachers. They are only a phone call away and we visit them regularly.”

While it has been a significant change to their lifestyle, with the help of technology and support from health providers, Hayden and Sidney are definitely leading a very full and active lives.

“They are kids first and then diabetics second, they still have treats but we just do some planning to manage it differently, but there is nothing that they can’t do,” she said.

To find out more about Type 1 Diabetes, click here.

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