Samuel Grant, from Wigan Ward, Liverpool Stake, was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes in March 2016. His Mum, Michelle, remembers, “It was just five days before Easter and Samuel, who was eight at the time, had been ‘under the weather’ for too long. They say, ‘Mother knows best’, and after several doctors’ visits, which prescribed, ‘more rest’, I felt that we needed divine inspiration. Sam received a blessing, and we decided to take him to the out-of-hours doctor at the hospital, where much the same advice was given. As we were walking out, I felt a prompting to ‘Take him to hospital’. I responded by walking him straight back into Accident & Emergency. There, he was quickly and correctly diagnosed as a person with Type-1 diabetes. He was in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis – a life-threatening low-insulin condition). It was then that the bombshell dropped. Our world felt like it had been turned upside down.”
Samuel especially found it difficult to understand the condition and all that it entailed. Looking back, he says, “I wished that there had been a book I could have read that let me know everything was going to be ok! As a ‘Type-1 diabetic’, my life was very different and explaining that to my friends was like talking to an alien. They just didn’t understand.”
Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Sam felt inspired to help others in a similar situation. He explains, “It was hard after I was diagnosed, but I felt that I wanted to help others to have hope as they experienced the same feelings that I had at that time. It was then that I first thought of writing a children’s book about an alien called Zegg. I wanted to give hope to children who were newly diagnosed. One of my favourite authors is Dr Suess, so I tried to write it in his style.”
Samuel then had to work hard to make his book a reality, which happened early in 2021. He has already gifted 50 copies of the book to the hospital that helped him and plans to donate books to other health trusts for children who are beginning their own Type-1 journey.
Sam, who is now 13, will always require insulin, and still experiences highs and lows, but his life is full of adventure, joy, and hope.
He has been raising funds in lots of imaginative ways to get copies of his book printed. Anyone can help by donating money for copies of the book (see https://samuel-grant.co.uk). He eventually hopes to gift the book to NHS trusts across the whole of the UK, so they can distribute copies to as many diagnosed Type-1 children as possible. Samuel adds, “Every year, an average of 5,000 children's lives are changed forever by a Type-1 diagnosis. I hope that this book will help teach and educate people about the disease - being aware of it and understanding it, may help families live and cope with it better. This is one way I have been able to kind of minister to other people during hard and dark times.”