I'm originally from Coleraine on the North Coast of Ireland, where I completed both my Undergraduate degree and Masters in History at Ulster University. During my time at university, I was introduced to so many new areas of history, but the one that grabbed my attention and heart most was medical history. Medical history, specifically the history of mental health in Northern Ireland was the topic that formed my undergraduate dissertation. Following this, my masters thesis was focused on the history of Diabetes in Ireland and this helped form my PhD thesis. I was offerred my place in Queens to complete my PhD with funding from DfE in March 2019. I am delighted to be developing my thesis in such a fantastic institution.
My thesis is focused on the changing patient experience of both living with diabetes and their experience of the treatments and services they received during the second half of the twentieth century in Northern Ireland. It is an oral history project, with interviews being conducted with patients who were diagnosed with diabetes following the establishment of the NHS in 1948.
The aim of my research is to find out how the patient experience of diabetes changed over time in Northern Ireland. Looking at areas such as their experience when diagnosed and the changes that have been made to their treatment in light of advancements in the likes of insulin pens and glucose monitoring during the second half of the twenteith century, my research will determine how the management of diabetes changed for the patient during this time. Taking a history from below approach, my research will reveal what it was like to live with diabetes. This will cover areas such as how it impacted the patient's family life, their work life and their social life.