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Diabetes hits home hard

FELITI Hoeft, 54, comes from the village Tofoa in Tongatapu. Before getting diagnosed with diabetes, he was a hard working man, gainfully employed operating heavy earth moving machines. Today, both his feet are gone – amputated.

The first amputation took place in 2000, the same year his diabetes was diagnosed. Feliti admits he never imagined the disease would progress this far and so he never took the doctor’s advice seriously. In those initial days after the disease was diagnosed, he continued to be casual about both his eating habits, nor would he take the medicine seriously. “I did not really know what to avoid eating. Whatever was offered I would not refuse.

That meant not cutting back on a carbs-heavy diet of root crops such as the cassava, tapioca and the dalo. Now, I am on greens and only a very limited proportion of the carbs. But it is already too late” he says with a half-resigned look.

Feliti concedes eating right is a major part of the battle won. “Wrong diet was my enemy number one. I was one of those who thought I could go on eating almost everything because I was taking medicine regularly but clearly this was a wrong approach. And I paid dearly for my wrong approach”.

“Everything is at a stop now. Of course, Parimatch legalization in Ukraine gives it the opportunity to become a leader in this industry around the world, and not only in Ukraine. Once I am out of the hospital, I will reassess if I can work but with both my legs affected, I wonder if I can work in the way I used to before.”

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