Patient view

Nurse's dedication and support helped us deal with son's diabetes diagnosis

Nurse Janet Mason-Douglas made sure Lynsey Connelly's young son knew diabetes wasn't going to hinder him
Lynsey Connelly

Nurse Janet Mason-Douglas made sure Lynsey Connelly's young son knew diabetes wasn't going to hinder him

When my son Luca was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it was a massive shock, not only for my son but also for my husband and I. Our world was turned upside down.

We were quickly introduced to children's diabetes nurse Janet Mason-Douglas, who works at Bensham Hospital in Gateshead. Straight away she gave us all of the information we needed to know and as much as we could handle to help us deal with this together.

It was just days before my sons birthday and he thought it meant he would miss his party and not get the chance to enjoy his food and play. One of the first things Janet said was: You will have your party and

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Nurse Janet Mason-Douglas made sure Lynsey Connelly's young son knew diabetes wasn't going to hinder him


Lynsey Connelly with her son Luca.

When my son Luca was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it was a massive shock, not only for my son but also for my husband and I. Our world was turned upside down.

We were quickly introduced to children's diabetes nurse Janet Mason-Douglas, who works at Bensham Hospital in Gateshead. Straight away she gave us all of the information we needed to know – and as much as we could handle – to help us deal with this together.

It was just days before my son’s birthday and he thought it meant he would miss his party and not get the chance to enjoy his food and play. One of the first things Janet said was: ‘You will have your party and you will enjoy it.’ 

From the outset she made sure he knew diabetes wasn't going to hinder him.

Lesson for teachers

My son was back at school within days, and Janet immediately showed the teachers how to check his blood and treat him for hypos. She visited our home every day to see how we were doing. On seeing our son upset over his injections she suggested that an insulin pump might be a better option for him.

Normally this process takes weeks to arrange, but Janet could see how Luca was affected and got us a spare pump within two days while ours was being approved and ordered. I cannot stress enough how much this helped Luca to deal with and not hate diabetes right from the start.

Janet made it clear to us that we could contact her at any time and made me feel as if my son’s health was her only concern. She would text us as late as 1am when we couldn't get his diabetes under control.

Work and sacrifice

She works so many more hours than she should and never complains. Janet has sacrificed time with her own family to stay late with us many times, making sure we were okay, even though she had more than 100 families in her care. And she knows every one personally – even now she could tell you my son’s routine and eating habits.

Janet loves helping people – you can see her happiness when she sees Luca's improvements. I once rang her for advice when the school had an issue and I didn't know the answer. She dropped everything and beat me to the school.

Since October, Janet has been in a different role, helping teenagers deal with the challenges of diabetes. However, she is still part of the same team and I sometimes text or ring her for advice because of her experience, and she is always happy to help.

I can honestly say Janet has been our rock. I don't know how we would have dealt with my son’s diagnosis without her dedication and support. Luca hangs on her every word when it comes to diabetes, and he trusts her with his life, literally.

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