Family of James Rowe, from Ipswich, hope his tragic death to diabetes may make other sufferers realise seriousness of the illness

James Rowe with his sisters, Amy and Beth

James Rowe with his sisters, Amy and Beth - Credit: Archant

A father has spoken out about his 24-year-old son’s untimely death in a bid to prevent another “avoidable tragedy” as a result of diabetes.

James Rowe can be seen in the background of this photo

James Rowe can be seen in the background of this photo - Credit: Archant

James Rowe, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged four, was found dead in his Ipswich home last Monday, with only empty insulin pens in the flat.

His father, Trevor said James always struggled to manage the condition, and would be taken to hospital up to three times a year on the brink of running out of insulin.

“We pleaded with him,” Mr Rowe said. “We would go and see him in hospital and he would always just come through it. The nurses would talk to him, warning him that it could be his last chance, but he wouldn’t listen.”

James, who needed to inject insulin three times a day to control his blood sugar levels, moved into his own flat in Thurleston Lane in March.

James Rowe

James Rowe - Credit: Archant

His stepmother, Marion, said James would spend his spare time playing on his games console, to the point that he would let the important things slide.

She added: “They think they are invincible at that age, but I don’t think he thought for one minute that this would happen, it’s such a waste of a young life.”

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Mr Rowe said James, who was brought up in Bramford and attended Claydon High School, learnt to inject himself with insulin aged eight with the incentive of being able to go on trips with Cub Scouts.

Mr Rowe, 62, added: “There was nothing wrong with his childhood. In later life when he got into gaming and that took over his life, not to the extent that he wouldn’t eat or drink, but he just did not do the right thing for his diabetes.”

One of James’ closest friends, Connor Lockwood, described him as a “caring”, “considerate” and non-judgmental person willing to help anyone.

He added: “In regards to James’ diabetes only a select few knew, he never spoke about it or made a fuss.

“We used to ask if he had taken it but it was a sensitive subject. We have seen the effect of not taking the insulin before when he was taken to hospital and it’s enough to shock anyone.”

Mr Rowe said James was a keen Ipswich Town fan, and the day after his death, a picture was published on the Ipswich Star website of Shefki Kuqi’s famous swan dive at Portman Road more than 10 years ago, with James cheering passionately behind him.

“It was so ironic the picture appeared on Tuesday – that triggered our thoughts to try and do something to make people aware,” Mr Rowe said. “It’s an old cliché, but if it makes one young person with diabetes think twice and make them look after themselves then it’s done something good.”

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