180 Medical has a unique perspective in the urologic supply industry, thanks to our founder, Todd Brown. Todd’s inspiring story begins with his passion for sports and staying active.
Todd Brown’s Story of His Spinal Cord Injury
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 active in the motocross community. 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.
Life changed forever for Todd that day. Despite the tragic events, Todd stayed positive about his situation during recovery. He decided his injury wasn’t going to stop him.
Encountering New Challenges with a Spinal Cord Injury
After two months of physical rehabilitation, he went back home and started working again. Of course, he would encounter plenty of new challenges from the new perspective of his wheelchair.
One of those challenges was frequent UTIs (urinary tract infections). Todd only knew how to reuse catheters. Unfortunately, this practice of washing and reusing catheters may increase the risk of UTIs. Todd dealt with fatigue and low energy due to frequent infections.
Additionally, Todd also encountered challenges with difficult medical supply companies. He discovered many of the suppliers he talked to just didn’t seem to know much about their own products. Plus, they didn’t seem to care about him as a person or in trying to find a product that would truly help him.
Despite some of the challenges he was encountering at first, Todd knew he wasn’t going to let his injury hold him back. 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.
Todd’s Life Begins to Turn Around For the Better
When 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 became a thing of the past.
Todd felt like his quality of life had turned around in a complete 180. Next, 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 Medical
Soon 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. Also, he wanted to make sure he had the best selection of brands available on the market.
Today, 180 Medical is one of the fastest-growing, nationally-accredited providers of sterile-use intermittent catheters, related urological supplies, and ostomy supplies, and we’re known for our compassionate, well-trained staff as well as our dedication to offering our customers a top-quality service experience.
You may enjoy this video, where you can see Todd Brown’s story firsthand.