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Older man in garden using phone

Walter’s voice

Walter has a strong work ethic, but unfortunately diabetes has had a profound impact on his ability to work and to do the things he wants.

London-based Walter used to work as a security guard and in petrol stations. Now 62, he shares his perspective on his struggle to work due to constant pain and ill health.

Walter has lived with diabetes for many years. This has had a profound impact on his ability to work and to do the things he wants. Originally from Sri Lanka, Walter has a strong work ethic and has always strived to be in employment and to pay his way. Having a chronic illness has caused frustration. “I am a jack of all trades,” he says.

In the early years Walter, who lives in London, worked as a security guard and in petrol stations, often through the night. Then he and his business partner ran their own transport business, doing house removals and deliveries. But over time Walter’s diabetes became more difficult to manage. “My diabetic issues came to the fore,” he said. “I was finding it more difficult to work, with constant pain, so I had to make a choice to focus on looking after my health.”

Walter’s wife also suffered ill-health and he became her carer until she died in 2014. His wife had received an MBE for her dedicated services as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Now aged 62, Walter is approaching the point at which most people retire from work. He feels it is unlikely that he will be able to think about finding work. “My diabetes is stable but I am in constant pain, which limits how active I can be.”

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