Diabetic Woman Becomes First in the World to Receive Pancreas Transplant Because of Needlephobia

A British woman has become the first person in the world to have a pancreas transplant because of a severe needle phobia, her doctors have said.

Sue York – who has had type-1 diabetes since she was seven – would shake uncontrollably and vomit when injecting herself with insulin.

Source: Needle-phobic pancreas transplant ‘world first’

I’m glad she was able to get the surgery and end her suffering.

The article doesn’t mention it, but I thought most transplants required the patient to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. These drugs are generally oral, but require regular blood testing to ensure correct levels. That doesn’t seem to be the case here, or she would just be swapping one kind of needle for another (albeit less frequent), somewhat defeating the purpose of the surgery.  A blood test once or twice a month isn’t really comparable to the daily contact diabetics have with needles.

I was recently waiting for my turn to test my INR, listening to someone’s child who was freaking out about getting a needle for some reason.  That would have been me until I was put on warfarin/coumadin.  Weekly testing eradicated the issue for me, but I clearly did not suffer like this woman.  For me, testing weekly meant alternating arms.  Daily testing is awful, but I find it odd that she managed for so long.