Salisbury family fundraising for diabetes 'Hypo Hound'

Salisbury family fundraising for diabetes 'Hypo Hound'

Published at 4:37pm 20th December 2018.

4 minute read

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10 year old Ella Taylor has a dog in training to alert her to dangerous blood glucose levels.

Her family now wants to help someone else locally to get the same chance, having seen the difference it could make to the life of a diabetes patient.

Ella from East Harnham has Type 1 diabetes, but doesn't have any symptoms when her blood sugars are dangerously low.

Once trained, Hope the Hypo Hound will be able to detect those signs, backed up by testing.

Ella Taylor and Hope Hypo Hound
Hope will not only be able to support Ella in having a more independent life, but also be a caring companion for her

Hope will be trained up to specific standards, and is already starting to pick up signs at just a few months old.

She's being provided by the Hypo Hound charity, with the family funding their own dog, and now fundraising to help another family.


Ella was first diagnosed with diabetes on 28th December 2016 at the age of 8 years old.

She'd suffered with health issues since birth, and at 10 months old, contracted pneumonia.

For many years, she was also affected by constant coughs, colds, viruses.

Ella Taylor Diabetes December 2018
Ella had numerous stays in hospital over the years

Her parents, Neil and Jenna noticed she would eat more, drink more, wee more, and tire herself out more than 'regular' children, but they put it down to her being full of energy.

Ella also often woke with headaches and tummy pains, as well as experiencing mood swings and complaining of feeling the cold more.

They are all common symptoms of diabetes.

Ella Taylor Holiday
Ella does her best to not let her condition affect her daily life


Picking up the potential signs of Type 1 diabetes can be as simple as remembering the Four T's:

  • THIRST - people with the condition tend to need to drink more often than others
  • TOILET - if you drink a lot, it's got to come out! 
  • THIN - those with diabetes often lose weight, or at least appear thinner
  • TIREDNESS - diabetes patients find they become tired more quickly than others

This video's been produced by Diabetes UK:

Ella's mum Jenna has described how she felt when her daughter was diagnosed:

"I spoke with the doctors and I could see by the doctors face that something was wrong - they did a urine and a finger prick test. That was so high the machine couldn't read it! The Doctor just looked at me, apologised and told me Ella had diabetes and needed to go straight to hospital.

"I was broken and felt devastated that I hadn't realised the signs and felt that I had failed Ella by not coming sooner. In my head I kept thinking it over - we had no reason to believe this was the problem, there were so many other plausible answers to her symptoms."

The Taylor family say the support they've had from the diabetes team at Salisbury District Hospital has been invaluable.


The 10 year old has an omnipod insulin pump, which is inserted into her body to test her blood sugar levels.

Ella Taylor Diabetes December 2018
Ella has to have regular injections to manage her condition

She also uses a machine which sends bluetooth readings to her and her parents' mobile phones, alerting them and Ella's school to any potential problems with her health.

Ella also has to test herself and administer pen injections when necessary.

But technology can have its issues too, so Hope the hypo hound is an extra line of defence to keep Ella safe and well.

Ella Taylor Diabetes December 2018
Some of the equipment and medication needed to keep Ella healthy - cans of Appletiser or Coke can really help her when blood sugar levels are low


During 2018, Ella and her family have raised £400 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

They raised that through doing a fun run at Five Rivers Leisure Centre.

Ella Taylor Diabetes December 2018
Ella at the fun run earlier this year

Earlier this month (Saturday December 16th), Ella had around 13 inches of her hair cut off as a fundraiser.

Her hair was also donated to the Little Princess Trust to make wigs for children who are living with cancer.

The Taylor family is looking to raise the £12,000 in total needed to fund another Hypo Hound.

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