Boy, 7, diabetic and allergic to insulin

Taylor Banks is an extraordinarily rare boy: a diabetic who is allergic to insulin.
Taylor BanksTaylor Banks
Taylor Banks

The borough seven-year-old is one of only a handful of people around the world to suffer from a condition which means his body reacts to the treatment he so desperately needs, often leaving him in agonising pain.

Taylor was diagnosed as type one diabetic when he was two years old and it soon became clear he was no ordinary diabetic.

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His mum Gema Westwell noticed that the injections she was giving Taylor led to lypotrophy (indentations in the skin) and she had soon run out of places where she could safely inject the tot.

But it was only last year that doctors diagnosed the Leigh youngster with an insulin allergy.

And because of the rarity of the condition, doctors are still searching for a solution.

As a result, Taylor has been unable to leave hospital for months as his condition cannot be managed in the usual way.

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He must receive insulin via an intravenous drip and have hourly observations and blood sugar checks while doctors desperately try and search for answers.

Meanwhile a fund-raiser is to be held in Wigan to help Taylor’s parents cover the costs of their regular and arduous journeys between home and Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Dad Scott Banks said: “He is still a happy little boy and he tries not to let it affect him but it does take its toll. He wants to go home. It has been going on for about eight months now.

“I work Monday to Friday and then go over to the hospital after work and stay there at weekends and Gema is there most of the time.

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“My work isn’t very flexible so I having to leave my job for something I can better work round spending time at the hospital with Taylor.

“The money from the fund-raiser is to help me and Gema financially and cover some of the costs we have from visiting him.

“The initial fund-raising campaign was started to pay for a trip for us all to Disneyland but we have no idea when Taylor might be able to go.

“Of all the doctors involved in Taylor’s case and research around the world, no one has seen a case like this before.

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“They have just started Taylor on an experimental drug to suppress his immune system and stop it reacting to the insulin which they think might help but really they have no idea whether it is going to work or not as it has never been used for this before.

“The support we have received from the public since this all started has just been amazing and we would like to say a massive thank-you to everybody who has got involved.”

The event has been organised by Andy Davies who decided to raise money for Taylor after a chance meeting with his grandparents in a pub at Christmas.

It is being held at Higher Ince Club and Silverwell Pub on Saturday from 7pm until late.

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There will entertainment from instrumental duo Crawford and Brown, guitarist and vocalist Andy Crawford and a disco.

There will also be a raffle and an auction with signed sporting memorabilia up for grabs.

Tickets are £10, including a hot and cold buffet, and can be bought by calling Andy on 07889 825309 or Stu Banks 07710 309210.