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Discovering New Possibilities at Tricia Downing's Camp Discovery

by Jessica September 7 2017 06:42
camp discovery for women with disabilities and spinal cord injuries

Tricia Downing has always been a competitive, physically active person from as early as she can remember. As a child, she enjoyed swimming, gymnastics, and running, among other activities, but her true love was bicycling and competitively racing. She could never have imagined that a day spent doing her favorite thing in the world would end with her in the hospital, unable to feel her legs, after she was hit by a car. In one fateful moment, her life was changed forever. Life after her accident might have been much different if she'd chosen to let it keep her down. It would've been easy to give up, but she had an undying passion to stay active and overcome her challenges.

tricia downing spinal cord injury

After the Spinal Cord Injury

After she'd been knocked from her bicycle over the hood of the car, the minutes until the emergency services arrived felt excruciatingly long, but soon, she was escorted quickly to St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver. Over three weeks were spent there in intensive care, as they tried to determine the full extent of her injuries. After that, she was transferred to Craig Hospital for the rehabilitation process, where she had to re-learn how to accomplish basic daily tasks like transferring from her wheelchair to her bed, getting in and out of the shower on her own, and more.

tricia downing paraplegic hand cyclingThe physical and occupational therapy she received was the foundation for her new life, but her time spent in recreational therapy, also known as rec therapy, became her favorite thing to do while she was still in the rehabilitation hospital. Her rec therapist let her know that she was going to help Tricia get back to doing the things she loved and introduce her to new activities too. Tricia was introduced to hand-cycling, and after one ride, she was hooked. 

New Wheels Rolling

One of the first things Tricia decided to do after being released from rehab was to get involved in wheelchair sports. She knew it would be a challenge, but she wanted to face it all head-on and not let her injury hold her back from doing things she loved.

"I think one of the things about having an accident such as this, having a change of life, is that it really makes you look inside and see who you are. When I got out of Craig Hospital, I knew that I could do more with myself. I basically got a second chance, so I knew I had to do something great."

trish downing paraplegic athlete paralympics headshotSince her accident, she has completed over 100 races, including marathons, and she was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon. She also qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 2006 and 2010 and competed on the U.S. Rowing team in the World Championship in 2011.

Eventually, she was drawn to the competitive sport of shooting in 2014, and she finished 17th in a 2015 World Cup event. She also competed on the U.S. Team in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

Still, there were more goals for Tricia while she continued leading a physically active lifestyle and competing in sports. She wanted to give back to others who had been injured or had disabilities. She wanted to be equipped to help them find a way to enjoy fitness and physical activity, just like her. So, with that goal in mind, she became a professional speaker and also decided to go back to school, where she completed Master's Degrees in both Disability Studies and Sports Management.

This became the foundation for her next big goal.

Opening New Doors With Camp Discovery

camp discovery yoga for women with spinal cord injuriesIn 2009, nine years after her accident, Tricia founded a camp in Colorado specifically for women 21-years-old and up who are in wheelchairs for conditions like spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and other conditions. Aptly named Camp Discovery, this camp helps these women to redefine their lives and forget the old limits. The three-day camp teaches female wheelchair-users all about physical fitness but also allows them to have time to create new friendships with others with similar experiences and obstacles. Combining holistic and physical wellness practices, the camp activities help women to find a place of confidence, security, and self-acceptance. 

Over the years, the camp has grown, and women from all over the country attend each year at the beautiful Rocky Mountain Village in Empire, Colorado. In addition to being able to commune with one another and forge new friendships, the female camp-goers are offered the opportunities to participate in such sports and activities as:

  • Wheelchair tennis
  • SCUBA diving
  • Horseback riding
  • Art therapy
  • Nutrition classes
  • Massage
  • Yoga and pilates
  • Swimming
  • Sled hockey
  • Kayaking 
  • and more!

trish downing at camp discovery

Tricia wanted to be able to show women in wheelchairs that there is still fun to be had in life, no matter their condition, and to let them know that they're not alone. Today, her goal continues to be helping others overcome their fears and limiting beliefs to unlock new possibilities for themselves.

You can find out more information about Camp Discovery at: and

Today, Tricia continues to be involved at Camp Discovery each year, and she also does professional speaking engagements to talk about her life path and motivate others to believe in themselves, no matter their disability or condition.

Learn more about Tricia and her amazing story at:  

tricia downing motivational speaker sci quote

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary

by Jessica August 25 2017 13:42
180 medical 15th anniversary

Food truck treats, an ice cream social, a decoration contest...these are just a few of the many fun ways we here at 180 Medical are celebrating the week leading up to our 15th corporate anniversary on August 27th. It's been a great week so far as we take time to look back on our company's rich history as well as look forward to what else is on the horizon in future years to come.

Looking Back at 180 Medical's History

todd brown founder of 180 medicalSome of you may already know about our founder, Todd Brown, and his incredible story. After a motocross accident, Todd was left paralyzed from the chest down. He had to learn to navigate the world as a new paraplegic, and armed with only some red rubber catheters to wash and reuse, he also had to fight against recurrent UTIs (urinary tract infections). There weren't a lot of helpful resources for him when it came to his medical supply needs. The companies he dealt with often had staff that weren't all that knowledgeable about the products they carried, and he felt like just a number to them rather than a customer who mattered. Armed with his experience and his business knowledge, he decided he would create a medical supply company that could truly make a difference for others in similar situations.

When he set out at the beginning, he knew it would be a challenge. At first, Todd was the sole territory representative, and the company's first warehouse was located in the garage of his home. Today, 180 Medical has grown to become one of the largest nationally-accredited providers of sterile use intermittent catheters, related urologic supplies, and ostomy products. We have representatives and locations across the country, and our corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for the 8th year as of 2017.

Of course, none of this would be possible without Todd's strong vision for his company.

The 180 Way Every Day

At the onset, fifteen years ago, Todd decided to lay a foundation upon which to build the company. That foundation is our mission statement which is "supplying the products that turn your life around." We uphold that mission statement every day by following a set of values that we call "The 180 Way." 

180 medical specialists 180 way
We make sure our staff is fully trained and truly deserving of the title "specialist," so our customers can feel confident knowing the friendly person on the other end of the phone line understands their needs, their condition, and their product options that may work best for their individual situation.

180 medical compassion 180 way
We understand that the people we supply may be going through hard times or difficult transitions post-diagnosis as they learn to adapt to using catheters and/or ostomy supplies. In every interaction, 180 Medical treats every customer as if they are a member of our own family and offers them a listening ear. Simply put, we truly care!

180 medical integrity 180 way
Even when it takes more time and effort on our part, we do what's right every time. Because of our dedication to following the strictest guidelines, we are nationally accredited with the ACHC, and we have a grade of A+ with the Better Business Bureau. We also won the BBB Torch Award for Ethics in 2016.

180 medical education 180 way
We make it a point to be an available source of knowledge to our customers. 180 Medical offers informative learning material in colorful step-by-step booklets, DVDs, blog posts, and social media posts, and we even have our own unique program just for kids called the 180 Medical Kids Club to help children who are learning how to cath for the first time. 

180 medical customer service 180 way
Service is at the heart of the 180 Way. We think of our customers first, and that's why we go the extra mile to make sure their supply needs are taken care of.

180 medical employees group picture 2017

 We believe that the 180 Way is also a big part of why our company thrives internally as well. 180 Medical fosters a positive, cooperative work environment where team members can grow and learn and truly look forward to coming to work every day. 

Thank You for a Great 15 Years So Far

Although 180 Medical has grown quite a bit from its humble but ambitious beginnings back in 2002, our mission and our heart remains the same. While we continue to grow and constantly work to improve, we absolutely have to say a special "thank you" to our wonderful customers and all of the hard-working, compassionate healthcare professionals that we are truly blessed to be able to work with and serve.

Here's to many more years of being one of the most reliable medical supply providers in the nation!

180 medical jobs

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Beating Spinal Cord Injury One Day at a Time: Mason Ellis's Story

by Jessica August 16 2017 06:09
mason ellis beating spinal cord injury quadriplegia

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. In fact, more than 35% of new spinal cord injuries each year are from car or motorcycle accidents. In 2015, just after the second semester of his senior year of high school began, Mason Ellis was involved in an car accident that left him a quadriplegic. From the beginning, he refused to allow his injury to beat him. Instead, he has made it his focus to defeat his injury one day at a time.

mason ellis quadriplegic

The Accident & the Aftermath

Mason couldn't have ever imagined that a fun night out with a friend driving along country roads in his home state of Indiana would lead to life in a wheelchair. After an unexpected four-way stop that dipped into a decline on a loose gravel, his car went out of control and hit an embankment, ejecting Mason nearly a hundred feet away. The car was totaled, but Mason was still alive, against all odds.
mason ellis SCI car accident
He was rushed to the hospital, and the doctors and nurses weren't sure he'd make it due to the extent of his injuries. In the crash, Mason's left shin, left femur, left collarbone, top and bottom jaw, the palate in his mouth, and some of his teeth were broken. On top of that, he cracked his skull and sustained a traumatic brain injury, and the fifth, sixth, and seventh cervical vertebrae in his neck were injured. He was now quadriplegic (C5, C6, C7).

Mason recovered in the hospital for 30 days before being transferred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana to start physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy (due to his brain injury). The rest of his time was devoted to learning how to gain independence back with skills like eating and brushing his teeth on his own. 

Although he looked forward to returning to his old routine after he was released from rehab, when he got home, he realized that life as a quadriplegic was going to be far more of a challenge than anticipated. Mason says, "I was clueless when I came home, and I didn't know anybody else who had my level of injury." After a few visits from a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, Mason was left on his own to learn how to maneuver in the world again as a newly paralyzed young man. 

On top of navigating life in a wheelchair, he also had to become responsible for his own catheterization routine. Mason was introduced to 180 Medical through his rehabilitation hospital, and once he discovered an intermittent catheter that worked well for his limited hand dexterity, he began to feel more confident about self-cathing.

mtg ez gripper closed system catheter mason ellis

Mason says, "I have to say the MTG EZ-Gripper really helps in preventing UTIs for me. It's a closed system, so you don't have to touch the tubing, and it has an introducer tip to bypass bacteria in the urethra." At 180 Medical, we have one of the largest selections of intermittent catheters, since no type or brand will be the right fit for everyone. We're always glad to take time to listen to our customers so we can help them find the right catheters for their individual needs and preferences.

Making a Positive Impact

Sharing Knowledge Through Videos 
As time went on, Mason says, "I hadn't really figured out how to do many things post-injury." Left with few options for information on how to complete tasks as a quadriplegic, such as daily strength exercises and getting dressed independently, he began scouring the internet for helpful resources. Unfortunately, his search came up short. The few videos he found weren't quite what he was looking for, and he figured that others like him might also be searching for the same information. He wanted to share his experience and how he has learned to do daily tasks that quadriplegics might want to know more about. That's when he decided he would take matters into his own hands; he would use his prior experience of making YouTube videos prior to his injury to create new video content and upload it to share on a YouTube channel

Soon, he started to hear from other people with spinal cord injuries who wanted to let him know how helpful his videos were. Family, friends, and loved ones of those living with spinal cord injuries also gave him positive feedback. To his surprise, he even heard from doctors, caregivers, therapists, and students learning about quadriplegia in medical school. 

Every day, more and more people discover the multitude of helpful videos Mason has personally worked so hard to create. He has hundreds of ideas left to offer, and he's excited to continue on this path and further develop his channel to connect and talk with others.

Some of Mason's most popular videos include:

Peer Mentoring Others with Spinal Cord Injuries
mason ellis peer mentor"People say I came a long way based on everything I broke. I haven't had many complications, and I feel really thankful for that," Mason says. Quadriplegics often face complications such as pressure sores and UTIs (urinary tract infections), and knowing this, Mason wanted to do what he could to help them.

He is now a certified Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation peer mentor, and he visits his old rehab to talk with recently injured patients before they are discharged to go back home.

During these mentoring sessions, Mason likes to share some of what he's learned, such as:
  • maintaining and gaining strength
  • proper hygiene
  • products that have helped him
  • staying mindful of the importance of doing pressure reliefs to minimize the risk of pressure sores

"I'm passionate about peer mentoring, because [my injury] really affected my life. I like to try and help out the community."

Staying Active & Meeting New People
Mason is more physically active now than he was before his injury. "I feel like I took being able-bodied for granted," he says, "So I never tried. Now, this is like proving to myself that I can do it and proving to others they're wrong if they say I can't do it." Some of the things he loves to do is hunt, fish, and ride in his adaptive UTV to visit friends and roam around the town where he lives.

mason ellis at camp possabilityOne place he loves to visit in the summer is a local camp in Indiana for disabled adults, ages 18-35, who have conditions like spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injuries. At Camp PossAbility, young adults get the opportunity to meet and befriend others like them and participate in fun outdoor adventures like adaptive horseback riding, swimming, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. Mason learned about the camp when someone reached out to him about it through his YouTube channel.

He was also able to connect with the creator of Able Outdoors Magazine, and now Mason is a contributing columnist for the magazine. He writes about some of his experiences with hunting and other fun adaptive outdoor activities.

When he mentors others, he likes to talk about some of these hobbies in order to let them know that life isn't over for them, and they can still do all the things they loved doing before in new, adaptive ways.

Looking Forward to Whatever Comes Next

mason ellis standing Outside of his growing YouTube channel, Mason keeps busy with college courses in Information Technology, and he hopes to have his car adapted so he can start driving again. He just wants keep moving forward.

Mason says, "I think it feels good to beat your injuries. It took me a while to figure everything out, but I like to say that I beat my injury when I learn certain tasks. I don't want the injury beating me."

Mason has already positively affected hundreds of lives with his videos, Able Outdoors columns, connecting with others at camp, and taking time to talk to people who need help adapting to their new life in a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury. We're sure he's going to go on to do many more great things and continue impacting others in significant ways. 

mason ellis sci quote

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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

2017 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients Are Announced

by Jessica August 3 2017 06:01
2017 180 medical scholarship winners announced

180 Medical, one of America's leading providers of intermittent catheters and ostomy supplies, is pleased to announce this year's recipients of the annual 180 Medical College Scholarship. 
180 medical students scholarship
When 180 Medical's founder, Todd Brown, created the scholarship program, it was his hope to be able to help students and their families offset the costs of higher education in order to achieve their dreams despite the financial burden that their health conditions might create for them. 

This program provides seven recipients with $1,000 scholarship awards each year in order to help them finance their college education. Each student chosen must be a full-time student under a doctor's care for a spinal cord injury, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, neurogenic bladder, or an ostomy (ileostomy, urostomy, or colostomy). Those interested can learn more about the scholarship program at

"Every year, we are always inspired by all of the awesome applicants and their stories," says Mark Jassey, COO of 180 Medical. "It's really an honor to have this scholarship program and contribute to these students' dreams to go forward in the world and help others."

In 2017, 180 Medical received applications from hopeful students all over the United States, and as always, it was a difficult choice for the committee to begin narrowing down to the final seven recipients. This year's finalists have very different backgrounds and their career goals range from graphic designer to medical doctor, but one thing they all have in common in the desire to positively impact others' lives.

Here are this year's scholarship recipients:

2017 180 medical scholarship recipients

180 Medical would like to thank everyone who applied. Every student who sent in their application were well-qualified and dedicated to their goals. Congratulations to the 2017 scholarship recipients. To those who did not receive an award this year, they are encouraged to watch for the announcement for the 2018 scholarship awards and apply again in the future.

About 180 Medical: 180 Medical is one of America's fastest growing home delivery providers of intermittent catheters, ostomy products, and other related urological disposable medical supplies. Based in Oklahoma City, the company is dedicated to meeting the supply needs of customers with diagnoses such as urinary incontinence, spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, colon cancer, Crohn's disease, and many other conditions that require catheterization and ostomy supplies. 180 Medical is a subsidiary of ConvaTec, a leading global medical products and technologies company. For more information, take a look at our website at

180 medical scholarship program

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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Urology Territory Specialist Employee Spotlight: Meet Wendy

by Jessica July 13 2017 08:58
180 medical sales rep jobs wendy

180 Medical is a national supplier of intermittent catheters, ostomy products, and related medical supplies. We make it a point to hire positive, compassionate, hard-working individuals who want to enjoy going to work, not only for a paycheck but for a rewarding place where we can make a difference. 180 Medical offers a competitive benefits package, extensive training, and many fun extras and perks. We were also named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for the 7th year in 2016. 

We're excited to feature Wendy, one of our Executive Urology Territory Specialists, in this month's employee spotlight. 

Wendy, congratulations on recently celebrating your 7th anniversary with 180 Medical! Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
Twenty years ago, I moved from Florida to Colorado without a job and not knowing anyone because I love the great outdoors, and there is so much to do here. In the summer, I do a lot of hiking, camping, biking, and golfing. I have hiked five 14-ers. I also love live music and attend a lot of outdoor concerts in the summer. During the winter, I ski and snowshoe. 

180 medical employee sales rep

What is a typical day in the life for you as a territory specialist (sales representative)?
My day starts early with emails and phone calls if I am working locally, and it starts even earlier if I have a lot of drive time to the area that I am working in. Due to the size of my territory that I cover, I have a lot of time between the wheel, but I'm always making calls to nurses along the way to answer questions and collect documentation such as prescriptions and Medicare documentation. The position requires a lot of multi-tasking, but my main responsibility is to call on any facilities in my territory that may have patients who will need to use intermittent catheters. I also like to make sure that all of my facilities are stocked with sample bags so that they have what they need when they teach a patient how to catheterize

wendy l spina bifida walk n roll coloradoWhat are some of the best parts of your job?
The best part about working for 180 Medical is that we are the absolute best in the industry! We employ the most caring, knowledgeable specialists who truly go above and beyond for our customers every day, and this makes my job much easier. I can feel confident knowing that the patients our facilities send to 180 Medical for their supplies will be taken care of quickly with kindness and respect. The best part about being a territory specialist is that we get to make our own schedules, and I also enjoy getting to know the nurses and doctors and build relationships with them.

What sets 180 Medical apart from other employers, in your opinion?
180 Medical is just a rare gem that knows how to treat their employees as well as their customers. We have the most incredible company culture that I have ever experienced. Although I had been in sales for 10 years prior to 180 Medical, I had never worked for a company that gave their reps as much autonomy to run their business as 180 Medical does. One thing that working here has given me is the opportunity to learn discipline in managing my territory, such as scheduling, routing, and responding to the volume of emailed requests.

The longer I've been with 180 Medical, and the more the company has grown over the years, I've had some fun opportunities to ride along with and train more territory specialists to help them get their business going. I really enjoy training other reps and sharing my experience and knowledge with them, and 180 Medical has been a big part of allowing me to explore those strengths.

If you're interested in a sales job with 180 Medical and if you work hard and are smart, persistent, self-motivated, and driven, you will grow your territory and can be very successful! 

wendy 180 medical employee testimonial

What's something about you that people might be surprised to know?
I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky, and I’m definitely the most adventuresome person in my family. I love trying new outdoor activities. I have been skydiving and fly-boarding a few times and have been a certified scuba diver since 1996.  

What is one of your favorite 180 Medical memories? 
My first favorite memory of 180 Medical is meeting Todd Brown (founder of 180 Medical) on my flight when I was working as a flight attendant. I will be forever grateful that I met him that day and that he gave me his card and the opportunity to interview. My second favorite memory is receiving the company coin, which was such an honor to me. 

wendy l company coin 180 medical

What are some fun community events you like to make time for outside of work?
I love getting the chance to attend as many charitable events in the community as I can.  A few of the major annual events I attend are the Spina Bifida Association Walk-N-Roll, Spina Bifida Association Education Days, Adaptive Adventures, Jam the Damz, Camp Discovery, and several other adaptive programs for kids and adults with disabilities.  I also attend Boys Hope Girls Hope every year.  

Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! We truly appreciate you for all the hard work you put in, day in and day out, and all the compassion you show for not only our customers but for the doctors and nurses with whom you interact regularly to make sure we take care of their patients properly and compassionately. You display the 180 Way in all you do, and we're thankful for you and all of the hardworking Urology Territory Specialists every day! 

Are you interested in becoming a part of the 180 Medical family? We're hiring! Check out our available positions and apply today.

180 medical is hiring

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 8 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.

Making Dreams Come True After Spinal Cord Injury: Jen Goodwin's Continuing Story

by Jessica July 6 2017 06:11

Jen Goodwin's whole world drastically changed in single moment after a fun day boating on the lake went terribly wrong, and she sustained a serious spinal cord injury at the C5 and C6 level. After her surgery and over two years of rehab, she returned back home and began to adjust to daily life as a quadriplegic. Daily tasks that were once done without a second thought, like brushing teeth and going to the bathroom, became new skills to re-master. With a lot of practice and time, Jen kept moving forward and became acquainted to daily life in a wheelchair.

Being a very goal-oriented person who thrives on a challenge, Jen decided she was ready to tackle something new. Life was going well as Jen settled into her new routine, but she was ready to start thinking about what could be next for her. Since she had demonstrated an interest in law before, her mom suggested that she ought to try taking the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). It was a surprise and a joy to find out that she performed even better than expected, and she ended up getting a full scholarship to Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas.

Back to School

jen goodwin law school graduate quadriplegic Returning to school as an adult in a wheelchair was a whole new challenge to face. She wouldn't know anyone in her new classes at all, and there were other questions on her mind now too. How would she take notes and tests when she wasn't able to write? Would the school buildings be accessible for her? Of course, these were perfectly normal concerns to have.

"I think a lot of people are afraid to go back to school after [spinal cord] injuries," Jen says, "But talk to your local Vocational Rehabilitation Services, because they have a lot of resources and information to help get people back to school. And talk to your school's Disability Resource Center. They really want to help! Even if your injury prevents you from taking notes and typing, there are still ways to be successful in school."

Jen arranged some meetings with her school's Disability Resource Center, and she was relieved to find the staff ready and willing to discuss options with her. Together, they worked out what accommodations and adjustments would need to be made in order to ensure that she would have the same opportunities for success as every other able-bodied student at the law school, such as keypads to open doors, accessible bathrooms near her classes, digital copies of textbooks, and setting her up with classmates who could take lecture notes for her.

Another Dream Come True

jen goodwin spinal cord injury family Jen worked as diligently as possible at all her courses while still making time to get to know the other law students in her classes. After a year of school, she decided it was time to focus on one of the greatest wishes of her heart: to become a mother.

At the time, there were a few people who had some opinions on her life and even doubted that Jen could handle all of these responsibilities along with having a child of her own, but she didn't let that hold her back. Talking to Jen and hearing her story in her own words would certainly make you realize that her tenacity and optimism keeps her moving forward, and there's no obstacle she's not willing to work hard to overcome. 

With the support of her doctor and her family, she picked an anonymous donor and became pregnant at just the right time during winter break, so she could spend much of the time during her first trimester out of classes. The time off was spent practicing and working with a weighted doll to find the best techniques for lifting car seats, changing her baby's clothes, and more, all while an accessible nursery for her baby boy was added on to her home. Spring semester classes went on without a hitch, and then just after school let out in the summer, little Beckham made his early arrival in June.

Today, he has a mother who loves him more than anything in the world and a wonderful support system of close family and friends, especially Jen's parents and sister.

Jen's lifelong dream of being a mom had finally come true.

Looking to the Future

So what's next for Jen now that she's graduated from law school as of May of this year? Right now, Jen is prepping for the bar exam, and after that, she starts a two-year internship working with the legal department of the local children's hospital, which seems like the perfect fit for a woman with such a big heart for children. Plus she can bring her own experiences with the legal system and living with a disability.

"I am a firm believer that the right doors open when they're supposed to," says Jen, "So we'll see what happens after that!"

We're so excited to see all the ways that Jen will go forward to achieve more dreams as well as positively impact others' lives during her journey. There were certainly obstacles along the way, but she came out on the other side with a smile, a law degree, and a son of her own. Limitations and setbacks may happen in life, but Jen is living proof that with optimism and tenacity, nothing can hold you back.

jen goodwin quote 2

Read Part 1 of our two-part series on Jen's life, her accident, and her time in rehab.

part 1 jen goodwin story

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Determined Spirit: Jen Goodwin's Story of Life After Her Spinal Cord Injury

by Jessica June 30 2017 06:13

Nearly a decade ago, Jen Goodwin was on top of the world. She'd graduated from the University of Arkansas, bought her first house, and adopted her first dog. Then she got her dream job as a pharmaceutical sales rep, which came naturally to her with her friendly personality, big smile, and a real talent for sales. It seemed like life couldn't be better. Then everything changed in the blink of an eye. 

The Day Everything Changed

A fun day of boating and swimming at the lake with her neighbors in the summer of 2008 turned into a nightmare after dark. She and another neighbor were out in his boat when he fell backwards onto her head and then used her neck almost like a springboard to push himself back up to stand again. Immediately, she saw a flash of bright white and had a warm pleasant feeling that gave way to searing pain, and then she realized she couldn't feel her legs. It was clear something was very, very wrong.

jen goodwin picAt first, her neighbor didn't believe that she had been hurt, even claiming that she was faking her injury. In cases like this, when someone says they're hurt or have possibly sustained a spinal cord injury, it's important to keep them still and get help from emergency services as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this didn't happen for Jen. Due to her injury, she couldn't sit up or hold on to anything to maintain balance during that terrifying trip over choppy waters back to the boat ramp. It took a lot of pleading for her neighbor to relent and, after loading her into the floorboard of his truck, he eventually drove her forty-five minutes away to the local hospital.

As soon as they arrived, paramedics sprang into action to help Jen. It was obvious that she was seriously hurt, but the true extent of the damage wasn't fully known until they ran some tests. Despite her pain and fear, Jen tried to maintain a positive attitude, but when the doctor sat down with her to tell her that her neck had been broken and her spine was severely compressed at the C5 and C6 level, leaving her quadriplegic and unlikely to ever walk again, she finally let herself cry. She knew then for sure that this wasn't a simple injury that could be quickly fixed. Life had changed forever.

Life During Rehab

Naturally, Jen was heartbroken at all that had happened to her, but she didn't let herself stay down for long. She was ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead. Her surgery was scheduled on a Sunday, and she transferred to the rehabilitation center on Thursday, one of the fastest post-surgery patients that the staff at the hospital had seen.

jen goodwin quote 2Her first goal was just to raise her hand high enough to scratch her nose. Initially, she had no lower extremity movement and no control of her triceps, because of the level of her injury, but she kept that tenacious drive and continued working hard to meet challenges head on and eventually was able to achieve that first goal she had set for herself. "I just looked at it like, 'This is my chance, so I'm going to give it absolutely everything I've got every single day,' and because of that, I was able to get a lot stronger," says Jen. 

Although she was determined to push through therapy and work hard, it felt like a lot of the techniques and skills they were teaching her in rehab wouldn't be possible for her to master at first. After a lot of practice and determination to gain back some strength, she received validation that hard work and dedication to her goals made things possible when others might have thought it wasn't possible.

Altogether, she spent nearly two years total in rehabilitation therapy, including a controlled intensive therapy study at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta Georgia. She worked as hard as possible to reach her goals, and during that time, she also met some of her best friends. They affectionately dubbed themselves, "The Quad Squad," and they still meet up regularly for vacations and get-togethers.

Her ultimate goal was to learn to walk again, and finally, she was able to walk down and back again on the length of a basketball court. It took an hour and was achieved with the help of two therapists, a spinal electronic nerve stimulator (or e-stim), and a walker. This was a turning point for Jen in figuring out her next goals.

"I decided I could either learn to walk, or I could learn to live," she says of her decision to move on after focusing entirely on rehab for over two years. It was only because she gave her all and worked as hard as she could for so long that she felt able to let go of the old goals and focus on new ones.

Moving Forward

There were all kinds of new challenges to face during that early period of life after her injury. Once rehab was over, Jen had to put the skills she had learned into action and worked to develop new strategies for accomplishing basic, daily activities around the house, and even in getting around in the world, such as learning to drive again with the help of a modified car. She devoted nearly a year to designing and planning an accessible home to have built next to her parents' house, and another year was spent learning how to live in it on her own. 

One additional aspect Jen had to consider was learning how to self-cath. It can help to have a catheter supply provider with trained product specialists on staff who are willing to take time to listen to concerns and questions. She found 180 Medical through a spinal cord injury event and has been with us ever since. "I absolutely love 180 Medical. You guys sci connection facebook linkhave always been great about getting the supplies I need and letting me know about any new products that come out. I can always rely on you to get my supplies to me when I need them," says Jen.

Depending on the level of injury, some may not be able to manipulate a catheter on their own. Jen tried out a few different catheter options while using a gripping catheter clamp to better hold them, but when she tried out a newer option the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Set, she knew she'd found the perfect fit for her needs. "It's so nice that they fit right in my purse. They're super discreet and ready to go, and I can actually grip them with my hands." Since Jen loves to travel, it's super handy to have an option for catheters that are lighter and take up way less space in her luggage too. 

It wasn't always easy. From the frightening night of her injury through years of hard work and dedication to physical and rehabilitation therapy, the journey to where she is now was long and challenging. Jen understands that things can seem bleak to those who have been recently injured, but after going through all she has, she encourages others to not lose sight of goals or give up. 

Thinking about what might come next was never far away from Jen's mind as she settled into daily life. There were a few big dreams that she had always wanted to accomplish that kept coming up in her mind, and she decided she wasn't going to let her spinal cord injury get in the way of achieving those dreams.

Check out this awesome video from Permobil Corporation to meet Jen in person as she talks a bit about her goals and her experiences with her wheelchair.

Find out all about the next chapter of Jen's life and the new goals she set for herself in Part 2 of our two-part series. 

jen goodwin part 2

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for nearly 8 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

180 Medical Product News: CompactCath Intermittent Catheter

by Jessica May 31 2017 09:17
compactcath new catheter product

At 180 Medical, we love to keep you in the know on the newest catheter and ostomy products available, so you're up to date on the latest supply options that might fit your needs and preferences. In this post, you can find out more about the new CompactCath catheter for males and females.

What Should I Know About the CompactCath Catheter?

compactcath travel pocket catheterAll About CompactCath

CompactCath is a revolutionary new intermittent urinary catheter designed to better address some of the main concerns of catheter users, such as better discretion, convenience, and hygiene.

In 2011, a team of physicians, engineers, and business students met at Stanford's Design for Service Innovation class with the goal of designing a new catheter solution that delivers comfort and ease of use. They approached development of the catheter by talking to and visiting the homes of hundreds of catheter users to truly understand their needs and what they wanted from an intermittent catheter. During their research process, they found that although most catheter users had no issue catheterizing in the comfort of their homes, a majority still felt some anxiety when going out and cathing in public restrooms and other settings away from home. So the team began working to create a modern intermittent urinary catheter that is compact, convenient, and can fit seamlessly into users' everyday routines.

Features of the CompactCath

  • 16 inch length: Although this is typically male length, the CompactCath is considered unisex, so both men and women can use it. 
  • Discreet design: Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and comes in opaque packaging, CompactCath doesn't look like a typical catheter, which allows users to maintain discretion and privacy.
  • pocket catheter option compactcathPre-lubricated: The sheath contains silicone oil, which lubricates the length of the catheter tube as it is pulled out of its case. This reduces friction during the process of catheterization and reduces risk of urethral irritation.
  • Non-touch: CompactCath's plastic case and hygiene sheath work together to create a sterile environment and provide a non-touch insertion.
  • Improved control: Plastic case with a control handle to hold the catheter in place and prevents it from being coiled back into the case during the process of insertion.
  • Polished eyelets and smooth surface coating: This allows for an easy and comfortable insertion and withdrawal.
  • Flow control funnel: The design of the funnel prevents urine from flowing until the user is ready to drain, providing full control.
  • Currently available in 12 French and 14 French sizes.
  • Sterile, single-use.

Learn more about CompactCath with the below video:

How Do I Use the CompactCath Intermittent Catheter?

countdown how to cath step 1Prepare by washing your hands, using a disinfecting wipe, and/or putting on gloves for additional protection. 

countdown how to cath step 2Peel open the pouch and remove the catheter. No need to pinch the body of the case, because this restricts the free movement of the wheel and can prevent the catheter from pulling out. Hold it by the rim.

countdown how to cath step 3Advance the catheter tube out by pressing down on the handle and gliding the sheath out until the catheter reaches your bladder. 

countdown how to cath step  4Once your bladder is empty, aim the catheter in the desired receptacle and unplug the funnel by pushing it outwards to drain. 

how to cath step 5After catheterizing, simply coil the catheter back inside the case and dispose of it discreetly and hygienically. how to catheterize booklets and dvd

For more information about the process of catheterization, you can visit, which offers instructions for men, women, and children in all options for straight, hydrophilic, and closed systems.

Also, you can contact us at 180 Medical where one of our friendly, trained specialists can walk you through the process of catheterization and send you samples of the CompactCath to try out. We also offer one-of-a-kind instructional materials that can be sent to you with your order, including printed color brochures and a DVD. 

compactcath intermittent urinary catheter

How Can I Find the Catheter That's Right For Me?

Just contact us to speak to one of our trained, friendly specialists. We'll be glad to help find the right intermittent catheter that will best fit your individual preferences and needs, and we can also verify your insurance to determine if and how these products are covered on your policy. 

 Please note that this is intended to provide a general understanding of how to self-cath using the unique design of the CompactCath. However, it should not be used in place of the recommendations for how you should catheterize based on your personal anatomy and needs. For personal instructions, visit, call, or consult with your prescribing physician or other professional healthcare provider.

Related Posts:

About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.

Three Things to Know About Life After an Ostomy

by Jessica May 24 2017 06:12
three things to know about life after ostomy surgery

At 180 Medical, we understand that you might have some apprehension about what your life will be like after you have an ostomy procedure. You may find you have to make some adjustments, based on your doctor's recommendations, and getting used to have an ostomy may take some time. But will your day-to-day life be completely different? Let's take a moment to break down the three main things you'll want to know if you're concerned about an upcoming ostomy surgery.

What Is an Ostomy?

An ostomy is a surgically-created opening in the abdomen that allows waste to leave your body. There are several types of ostomies depending on the affected area. We specialize in these three main types:

  • Colostomy: An artificial opening from the colon to divert the flow of formed stool
  • Ileostomy: An artificial opening from the small intestine to divert the flow of loose stool
  • Urostomy: An artificial opening from the urinary system to divert the flow of urine
You may be getting an ostomy procedure due to any number of issues, such as cancer of the colon or bladder, IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), severe diverticulitis, a physical trauma or accident, and many other issues. Your situation with having an ostomy can be temporary or permanent, depending on the condition, but that will be for your healthcare practitioner to determine.

Having an ostomy is not at all uncommon, and although it may seem like you're going through this alone, you are among thousands who live as ostomates all over the world. In fact, in the United States alone, it's estimated that as many as 750,000 people have an ostomy.

number of ostomates living in the usa

Will Others Be Able to Tell That I Have an Ostomy?

Although having an ostomy is nothing to be ashamed of, we understand that it may feel embarrassing or uncomfortable at first as you adjust to your new life as an ostomate. But with the proper supplies that fit you well, no one will be able to see that you have an ostomy. It's completely up to you how, when, and if you tell others about your surgery, but there are plenty of supplies and accessories, including clothing options, that can help you feel clean and secure, no matter whether you're in public, at home, being active or even swimming.

Many of the pouches we carry feature charcoal filters to release any gas without build-up or odor. These also often have comfortable cloth-like panels which are specifically designed to stay quiet and discreet beneath your clothes. Depending on what type of ostomy you have, your doctor may have recommendations for the best type of system for your needs, and our Ostomy Specialists can also work with you to discover what may best suit your needs and preferences.

Will I Be Able to Lead a Normal Life After an Ostomy?

swimming with an ostomyYou can absolutely lead a normal life after having an ostomy procedure. There will, of course, be an adjustment period as your body heals post-surgery. Learning how to apply and remove your pouching system can also take a little time to figure out exactly works best for you, based on the recommendations and schedule as given by your doctor, but before you know it, you'll be a pro. 

As far as other adjustments to your lifestyle, such as your diet, that will be an individual recommendation from your doctor, since each body is unique. You may find that certain foods affect your digestive system differently, or your doctor may have some tips on the type and amounts of fluids to drink as well. For the most part, you can probably resume your normal diet once you're given the okay from your doctor.

Many people who live a more active lifestyle wonder if they'll be able to stay active after their ostomy procedure. This, again, will be on a case-by-case basis, and your doctor will be able to discuss this with you in more detail, but typically, you can get back to your exercise routine or favorite activities when and if your doctor approves. It's possible you may be advised to stay away from full-contact or rough sports, but you should be able to run, swim, and even lift weights once you're healed after an ostomy. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor. 

Also, once your doctor gives you the okay, you can go back to work or school after healing from your ostomy procedure. If you work a manual labor job, you may have to make some adjustments or speak with your employer about changing your tasks. For many people, getting back to their normal daily routine or work schedule is a great step to feeling more confident and assured that life will not be so different with an ostomy, after all. 

Do you need ostomy supplies? We're here to help!
At 180 Medical, we have a variety of ostomy products, including barriers, pouches, and other accessories to ensure you have everything you need. Contact us to speak with a trained Ostomy Specialist who is ready to lend you a compassionate ear and help you find the right ostomy supplies for you.

steps to receive ostomy supplies
Steps to Receiving
Your Ostomy Supplies 
what's next after ostomy surgery
 What's Next After 
Your Ostomy Surgery?

Confirmations Department Employee Spotlight: Meet Jacob

by Jessica May 18 2017 06:27
180 medical confirmations employee spotlight

180 Medical is a national supplier of intermittent catheters, ostomy products, and related medical supplies. We make it a point to hire positive, compassionate, hard-working individuals who want to enjoy going to work, not only for a paycheck but for a rewarding place where we can make a difference. 180 Medical offers a competitive benefits package, extensive training, and many fun extras and perks. We were also named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for the 7th year in 2016. 

We're happy to feature Jacob from our Confirmations Department in this month's employee spotlight. 

jacob confirmations 180 medical employee spotlight

Jacob, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was in the military for 4 years, mainly stationed out of Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. I was a (68W) combat medic. In my spare time, I love to go fishing and camping, and one of my favorite hobbies is to watch and play sports. I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and I have to watch the Oklahoma Sooners play every year. Some day, I'd like to start my own business.

What are some of your main duties as a Confirmations Specialist?
My day revolves around confirming regular orders for our customers to make sure they receive their much-needed supplies in the amounts and quantities they need. We call about 7 to 10 days before their regularly scheduled order just to make sure they are ready. This is done to make sure we follow and meet insurance requirements, and it also ensures that our customers get the right amount for their needs every time. 

jacob 180 medical employeeWhat's one of your favorite memories at 180 Medical so far?
My favorite memory here was the first time I saw an example of just how much of a positive impact we have the opportunity to make in people's lives here. Close to the time I started working here, I spoke with a customer who was going through a really difficult time, and together, we looked at a few different options on his account that helped to alleviate some of his burdens. About a month or so later, I heard that he had called back in to let us know how much he appreciated everything that I did for him. That's when I realized that we really do make a difference every day we come in to work, and that's a priceless feeling.

If you knew someone who was considering applying for a job at 180 Medical, what advice would you give them?
Do it! You won't regret it. 180 Medical really is a great place to work. There is so much opportunity for growth and development. It's very hard to become complacent because you learn something new every day, and everyone around you wants to see you succeed. We are a team, and it takes effort from everyone on our team to complete our mission.

Do you have a favorite quote that keeps you inspired?
"The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience, but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges." - Martin Luther King, Jr.  

Thank you, Jacob, and all of our awesome employees in the Confirmations Department. We appreciate the effort and compassion that you display every day in your work and handling our customers like our own family members. You truly do make a difference!

Are you interested in becoming a part of the 180 Medical family? We're hiring! Check out our available positions and apply today.

180 medical is hiring

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 7 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, music, art, and & spending time with her dogs, friends & family.