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Black woman first to test new diabetes treatment

FIRST TREATMENT: Lena Daly

A WOMAN is the first London recipient of a ground-breaking new medical treatment in a NHS hospital to help diabetic patients lose weight.

Lena Daly, 53, from Lambeth, has been fitted with an endobarrier — a thin plastic tube that lines part of her small intestine beyond the stomach and prevents food being absorbed.

The tube is aimed at aiding those who struggle with excess weight to drop the pounds providing a medical alternative to the more drastic solution of gastric band or gastric bypass surgery.

At the King’s College and Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals, Daly was admitted to a trail of the treatment, with doctors hoping the procedure will be a breakthrough in tackling a pandemic of obesity and diabetes.

Daly, a hospital housekeeper, said: “I feel like I’ve won the lottery. It will make such a great difference. It will bring me my confidence back. I feel privileged.”

The mother of two has seen a rise in weight to 17 stone since she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2004, but she hopes to reduce it to about 12.

“I do exercises and go on various diets but my weight goes up and down,” she said.

“For myself, I really want to lose weight.” Dr Piya Sen Gupta, the research fellow conducting the trial, said 20 places remained in London for patients wanting to be fitted with the endobarrier.

The device, which is made from a Teflon-type substance to prevent food sticking, is removed after a year.

The trial is being funded by the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists and the procedure typically costs between £6,000 and £8,000 in the private sector, but is now available on the NHS.

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