1. ITV Report

Parents raise diabetes awareness after daughter stops taking medication and dies

Natasha Horne Photo: ITV News

By Kris Jepson

The parents of 20-year-old Natasha Horne, from Middlesbrough, want to raise awareness about the dangers of Type 1 diabetes after she stopped taking her medication, fell into a coma and died.

Natasha's parents, Stephen and Jackie Horne, told ITV News Tyne Tees they tried desperately to persuade their daughter to continue taking her medication, but had no legal control over her, because she was an adult.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

They bought their daughter's medication for her, tried to educate her about the dangers of the condition, but Natasha "didn't do needles" and found it difficult to cope with the illness.

She eventually moved out of the family home and her parents could no longer ensure she was injecting the insulin.

She just wouldn't listen. She just thought I was being a nagging dad or being over protective, or whatever she saw it as, she just couldn't get it in her head that I was looking out for her best interests. She ended up moving down to her boyfriend's and his mum's because we were on to her all the time, 'what's your levels? Have you done this? Have you done that?' And she was like 'I'm doing what I need to do, just leave me alone'.

– Stephen Horne, Natasha's dad
Natasha's family released a photograph taken when she was in a coma in order to raise awareness. Credit: Family photo

Natasha's mum, Jackie, told ITV News she wants younger people living with the condition to learn from her daughter's story.

She said "please share with your friends. It's nothing to be embarrassed about, having diabetes and if we can just save one life, or one set of parents from having to sit with you guys today like we have, then she hasn't gone in vain."

More than £1,300 has been raised for Diabetes UK in memory of Natasha.

Natasha with boyfriend Jordan Rich Credit: Family photo

According to Diabetes UK, around 3.7 million people across the UK have been diagnosed with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Of those people, around 370,000 people or 10 per cent, have Type 1 diabetes.

In the North East and Yorkshire some 481,287 people are living with both types of diabetes and a suspected 48,129 people live with Type 1 diabetes.

If it's not well managed, it can give you quite a lot of health problems, so in the short term it can make your blood sugars rise really high or drop really low and some of those episodes can be quite serious and need hospital admission and sometimes even intensive care. Unfortunately, sometimes, those things can be fatal.

– Libby Dowling, Diabetes UK