In 1922, the first diabetic child saved by an beef pancreas

MEDICINE STORIES – The four scientists refused to be compensated for their discovery.

It is January 11, 1922, in Toronto (Canada). Pale as a sheet, gaunt figure, 14-year-old Leonard Thompson lies on his hospital bed. The boy weighs only 30 kg. He is in a deep coma. Two years earlier, the doctors put a name on the disease that is eating away at him: it is type 1 diabetes. They only give him a few more weeks to live. Because, at that time, there was no treatment against this disease … Until this famous day. At the bedside of young Leonard, doctors are testing for the first time a treatment prepared from beef pancreas. The success is phenomenal and will change the lives of millions of diabetic patients overnight.

As a reminder, diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the body’s inability to produce or use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows cells to absorb the sugar from the blood to turn it into energy.

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