60-year diabetes medal for St Andrews wonman

4311038 SSHC lawrence medal 'L - R: Helen Marshall, Mrs Mary Coleman, Mary Robertson (Senior Diabetes Specialist Nurse), Dr Alasdair Mackie (Consultant Diabetologist) - presenting Mary with her Lawrence Medal for having lived with Type 1 Diabetes for 60 years - at St Andrews Community Hospital, St Andrews
4311038 SSHC lawrence medal 'L - R: Helen Marshall, Mrs Mary Coleman, Mary Robertson (Senior Diabetes Specialist Nurse), Dr Alasdair Mackie (Consultant Diabetologist) - presenting Mary with her Lawrence Medal for having lived with Type 1 Diabetes for 60 years - at St Andrews Community Hospital, St Andrews

A ST ANDREWS woman who has lived with severe diabetes for 60 years received a special award this week.

Mrs Mary Coleman was presented with the Lawrence Medal by consultant endocrinologist, Dr Alasdair Mackie at a ceremony in the community hospital on Wednesday.

The medal, given to patients who have lived with Type One diabetes for 60 years, is named after Dr R.D. Lawrence who was a pioneer of the illness.

He had diabetes himself, becoming one of the first people to be treated with insulin in 1923 after his initial diagnosis three years earlier.

Mary, diagnosed with diabetes aged just seven-and-a-half, recalls a strict diet with exercise and practising doing her injections by using an orange.

She said: “All my food had to be weighed and measured, my breakfast consisted of 7ozs of milk, half an ounce of butter and 1oz of bread so the crust had to be cut off.”

She has also witnessed great changes for patients, adding: “I used to boil my syringes in water to sterilise them and we used three-inch long needles - not like we have now.

‘‘I am surprised and honoured to be receiving the medal and I owe a lot to being in God’s care.’’

‘‘I have had ups and downs but I have always tried to get on with life and enjoy myself.”