A patient with diabetes who has lived with the condition for 70 years has been recognised as part of World Diabetes Day.

Diabetic’s 70 year milestone recognised

A patient with diabetes who has lived with the condition for 70 years has been recognised as part of World Diabetes Day.


Andrew Ritchie and his wife Geraldine with the Cedar Centre team

Andrew Ritchie received the John Macleod medal in a special ceremony at Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, on Tuesday, November 10.

The prize was awarded by Diabetes UK to the 72-year-old for his courage and perseverance of living with the condition.

Mr Ritchie, who suffers with Type 1 diabetes, is the second Royal Surrey patient to receive the accolade.

He was diagnosed with the condition, which requires daily insulin doses, as a toddler.

Mr Ritchie’s medal is named after John Macleod who was awarded half of a Noble Prize for the discovery of insulin.


Dr Roselle Herring, Consultant for diabetes and endocrinology, said: “It is rare for people to live with diabetes for 50 years, so we are delighted to be celebrating Mr Ritchie reaching 70 years.

“He has Type 1 diabetes which develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is no-longer able to produce any insulin.”

Mr Ritchie said: “I have always kept a very positive attitude towards my diabetes and it has never stopped me doing anything.”

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Gardener Asuni Rana with one of his creations

‘The important message is that a diabetes diagnosis is not the end of the world.

‘The Royal Surrey has been brilliant and their diabetic care is second to none.’

Royal Surrey celebrated World Diabetes Day on Saturday November 14, and ahead of the celebrations gardener Asuni Rana, created a series of topiary characters in the bushes around the Cedars Centre, where diabetic patients are treated.

Professor David Russell-Jones, said: “Diabetes is a long term illness and people who suffer with it are regularly required to attend hospital appointments and Asuni’s
work has helped improve that experience.

“He has created some wonderful characters out of the bushes in front of the Cedar Centre that bring a smile to anyone who walks or drives past.”


©2019 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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