A SALE teenager is backing a campaign to help prevent children developing a life threatening form of diabetes.

Leanne Odgen,18, from Woodville Drive, is raising awareness for Diabetes UK of the importance of early diagnosis of the condition.

Diagnosed at the age of 14 with the potentially fatal diabetic ketoacidosis, the aspiring paramedic narrowly escaped falling into a coma.

“I was very lucky, if I had left it any longer before my mum brought it up at the doctor’s, I wouldn't still be here today,” the former Ashton-on-Mersey School pupil said.

Alarm bells began to ring when she was constantly thirsty, tired and needing to urinate more than usual. Losing weight rapidly, her family simply thought she had taken the diet she was on too far until she began to drink litres of water at a time and go to the toilet more than usual.

They took her immediately to her GP where her blood glucose level result was 35.0, around five times higher than normal.

She was admitted to hospital and put on a minimum of four insulin injections and four blood sugar tests a day. She also suffered cataracts in both eyes.

Like Leanne, around a quarter of children with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed when diabetic ketoacidosis has already set in.

She said it was vital that parents noticing any difference in their child regarding the 4 Ts : Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, Thinner, go to their GP immediately. For more information, go to: www.diabetes.org.uk/the4Ts.