After our recent post to assuage fears about catheterization, you may have some more questions or some curiosity about our founder, Todd Brown, and a little more about 180 Medical's unique perspective in the catheter and ostomy supply industry.
Todd's inspiring story begins with his passion for sports and staying active. He grew up playing basketball, participating in track, and most of all, he loved motocross. Motocross is a physically-demanding, fast-paced form of motorcycle racing on mostly off-road, closed courses.
After graduating college, Todd was still actively involved in motocross, and then in 1994, during a daring motocross jump, he had a tragic accident. At only 25 years old, Todd was now a paraplegic with a T-7,8 spinal cord injury.
Adjusting to Life in a WheelchairTodd's life was forever changed that day, and even as friends and family came to visit him in the hospital, he kept a positive attitude about everything as he recovered. His natural tenacious drive to keep going made Todd determined to never give up.
After two months of physical rehabilitation, he went back to work and began navigating life anew in a wheelchair. There were, of course, challenges to get through and overcome.
One of those challenges was dealing with frequent UTIs (urinary tract infections). Todd had only learned how to clean and reuse straight catheters, and this practice may increase the risk of UTIs. This recurrent issue left him feeling fatigued and drained much of the time.
Another difficulty Todd encountered was that the medical supply companies out there didn't seem to have customer service specialists that really cared about what he was going through, nor did they have proper knowledge of the products that might work best for his needs and other people living with spinal cord injuries.
Staying Active With a Spinal Cord InjuryDespite some of the challenges he was encountering at first, Todd knew he wasn't going to let his injury slow him down or hold him back from his passions in life. He got involved with adaptive sports and began wheelchair racing. He participated in his first wheelchair marathon just six months after his accident.
During this time, he met some good friends who were also living with spinal cord injuries. It was life-changing to find a close community of friends who could understand some of the frustrations he was dealing with as a new paraplegic.
Life Begins to Turn Around For the BetterWhen one of his friends in the wheelchair racing community found out that Todd was washing and reusing catheters, he let him know about sterile use (the practice of an intermittent catheter just one time and then disposing of it properly). He also gave Todd a closed system catheter to try out.
Immediately, Todd experienced the difference of how convenient, comfortable, and hygienic the closed system catheter was compared to his old method of reusing catheters. Once he switched to a catheter that worked for his individual needs and preferences, he began to practice sterile use by only using each catheter one time. Almost right away, his health improved, and the UTIs that had been dragging him down were a thing of the past.
Todd felt like his quality of life had turned around in a complete 180, and he began to think about what the quality of life might be like for other catheter-users. He realized that, since he had gone so long without knowing about sterile use and the availability of newer technology products like closed systems and hydrophilic catheters, there were surely others out there who were dealing with frequent UTIs and other challenges as he had.
He had experienced firsthand what it was like to deal with companies that treated him like just another number and medical suppliers that didn't understand his needs. That's when he realized he could do something to make a difference for others too. He wanted to create a company that would turn lives around.
The Founding of 180 MedicalSoon after, Todd and his wife, Annette, started a medical supply company out of their garage. He had high goals for this company. As it grew, he made sure that the staff he hired were well-trained and compassionate, and he wanted to make sure he had the best selection of brands available on the market.
You may enjoy this video, where you can meet Todd and hear his amazing story firsthand.
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About the Author:
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for almost 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company!