While in the hospital, Todd called his closest friends and family to let them know what had occurred. His wife and family rushed to be by his side, and one thing people noticed was that his indomitable spirit had not been dampened. “He basically just made it like ‘God put this in front of me and gave me some challenges,’ and it didn’t make a difference to him,” Randy Brown, his brother, recalls.
Todd knew his life would never be quite the same as it was before his accident, but he was determined to persevere. “I had a business, I had a family, and I was just trying to get out of rehab,” Todd said, recalling those difficult first few months.
On top of that, he battled seven urinary tract infections for seven months in a row. Urinary tract infections are one aspect of difficulties that the newly paralyzed can deal with as their bodies adjust to having to use intermittent catheters in order to drain their bladder. Todd only knew to clean and reuse the catheters, as he’d been taught to do in rehab. But the infections were severely impacting the quality of his life, plus he had to deal with frequent trips to the doctor and constant doses of antibiotics. Feeling worn down and tired of being sick, Todd knew there had to be a better way.
Despite all of that, the drive to stay active was still inside Todd, so he began doing wheelchair races, and he participated in his first wheelchair marathon just six months after his motocross accident. One day, while attending a wheelchair race, a fellow athlete friend talked to Todd about his issues with frequent UTIs and asked if he’d ever heard of sterile-use cathetization (which is using a catheter one time and then disposing of it, versus reusing after cleaning it) and gave him a closed system catheter to try out. Todd’s health began to improve, and he realized that, with continued use of the right equipment and the right techniques, his quality of life had done a 180 degree turn back in the right direction.
It was not long after this that Todd decided he wanted to start a company that would be able to provide the right equipment, great service, and education to anyone who needed catheters and other supplies. It was a leap of faith, and he and his wife didn’t have much starting out, but Todd was ready to make his dreams a reality, so they started their medical supply company out of their own garage. Todd just knew he could make a difference in others’ lives.
Over those 20 years since Todd’s accident, he has not only started 180 Medical, which is one of the fastest-growing, nationally-accredited providers of sterile use catheters, urologic supplies and ostomy supplies, he has also accomplished much more. He and his wife are both strong advocates for adoption. He still takes times to visit spinal cord injury patients in rehab, and he will often mentor the newly injured. Even with his continually growing business, he finds time for his family and his passions, like fishing, hand-cycling, snow-skiing, and staying active in his church.
Todd’s story inspires everyone who hears it. He is a unique, driven individual who has turned what could have potentially been a negative situation into one that has not only earned him a successful business but helped countless others who may be facing challenges of their own.
About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.