Elsie Needham


Photograph of Elsie Needham, "The first child to recover from coma by the use of insulin."

In October 1922, eleven year old Elsie Needham was admitted to the Hospital for Sick Children in a diabetic coma, after gorging herself on grapes and olives. She was treated with insulin by Dr. Banting and Dr. Gladys Boyd, head of the Hospital's new diabetic clinic. Elsie was revived from her coma, regained her strength, and had recovered sufficiently to be back at school by January 1923. Prior to the discovery of insulin, diabetics who lapsed into coma invariably died.

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Early Patients
Elsie Needham