Diabetes won’t stop Louie from chasing dream

Louie Burrell

Louie Burrell - Credit: Archant

A brave and budding footballer says he is determined to achieve his dream of playing professionally despite living with diabetes.

Louie Burrell, 11, of Marguerite Close, Bradwell, was just seven when he was diagnosed with type 1 of the condition - but it will take more that to stop the central midfielder from enjoying his sport.

Speaking during Diabetes Week, Louie said playing for Gorleston Rangers Under-11 Falcons helps him forget about his illness.

'I don't let it affect me playing football,' he said.

'I play every day either with friends or on my own.'

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On Monday we reported there are more than 53,000 people living with diabetes in the areas covered by the county's clinical commissioning groups - and the number is at an all-time high nationally.

Understanding the condition is not easy for a young child and Louie has found his situation hard to deal with, his mother Amanda Burrell said.

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The family's journey began when Louie, then aged seven, became lethargic and so tired he fell asleep during a lesson at Woodlands Primary Academy, Bradwell.

His mother took him to the doctor where tests showed his blood sugar level was at 28. Normally it should be between four and five.

He was taken to hospital for treatment but fell into a coma two days later causing panic among his family.

'That was really scary,' Mrs Burrell said.

'Louie was terrified in hospital and very upset.

'It's hard for a seven-year old to hear he's got this condition for the rest of his life.'

The magnitude of having a child with diabetes soon hit home and Amanda said it has changed the whole family.

She gets up every night at 3am to check his blood sugar levels and he must wear an insulin pump at all times.

'He does get sad about it, but I'm so proud of him and he never fails to amaze me,' Mrs Burrell said.

'I have tried to be very honest with Louie. I tell him he is normal. But I also say his pancreas is broken.

'When his sugar levels grow or reduce it does change his personality, and he'll say he feels yucky or horrible.'

Louie, who plays football at Norwich City's player development centre, said: 'Sometimes I get really shaky and tired.

'But my family help me.'

For more information on Diabetes Week visit www.diabetes.org.uk

Are you a diabetic with a story to tell? Email our health correspondent at nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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