Written by By Anna Pukas, CNN
From the outside, it would be easy to dismiss Hamzah Khan’s apparent recovery from diabetes as a miraculous mix of hard work and a magical cure.
After all, the 23-year-old U.K. business student spent several years battling the disease, which causes a person’s pancreas to shut down.
“They were explaining it to me, they’d say ‘the pancreas is like a drain,’ the drain on my blood sugar. … It is very connected to your body,” he said in a recent interview.
“I would get periods where I couldn’t leave the house, with extreme hypoglycemia. … I had to check my blood sugar around four times a day.”
Despite the endless doctor’s appointments, he didn’t know if he would survive. But on June 17, after eight years of taking insulin injections, his pancreas finally burst.
“I couldn’t control it, like so many people do, and so many kids do,” Khan said. “It was just too much. … It was all over the place.”
He knew it was over when he experienced a huge change of speech, lack of energy and better memory. And then he started experiencing vision problems, which, over the years, led to excruciating pain.
After two weeks in the hospital, he was able to come home.
“It’s not something I wished for in life. … I was learning how to live with it. I used to love the word ‘disease,’” he said.
“I never imagined this would happen to me. It was devastating, absolutely devastating.”