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Hi I’m Nathan and am working at 11 Health and Technologies on the social media and marketing side of the business. Our CEO Michael Seres told me two days before the meeting that I was going up to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator presentations. It was my first proper meeting without the CEO being there, I was quite overwhelmed yet excited. Prior to this I had worked with the company at the Wound Ostomy Continence Meeting held in the beautiful city of Montreal this past June.charles-4
I met Charles Spicer, our Chairman, at Westminster station and we walked to St Thomas’ while chatting about general life and each of our responsibilities at 11 Health.
We were the first at the meeting so other companies starting congregating around us. Charles and I had multiple conversations mainly about our ostom-i™ Alert Sensor, explaining the benefit around it reducing readmissions and preventing dehydration.

We started to set up the pop-up banner and place teddy bears, pens and leaflets on the stand we were given. Charles walked around to get an idea of the different companies and where we stood in comparison. Once all the doctors and nurses started congregating in the meeting room where we were placed both Charles are I started explaining how our device works. I was mainly speaking about how it is used and the benefits of the device, however more people were interested in the fact I am Michael’s son and therefore wanted to hear about his story and the idea that 11 Health is a patient lead company.
We both managed to network and Charles made some very interesting contacts to help in the future.
Overall I would say the meeting was very useful. I believe if the meeting was longer more people would have been interested in the company as a whole and we would have had a more detailed chance to chat but it was a great first meeting for me at 11 Health.

Sharing about my struggle through multiple misdiagnosis.

It has become a true passion of mine to share my story. Not just to anyone that is willing to listen, but specifically to those that have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other patients. Whether it be clinicians, surgeons, nurses, medical students, physicians, or even other patients- my goal in sharing my journey is to help others.

It has become a true passion of mine to share my story.

Sharing about my struggle through multiple misdiagnosis.
Expressing the struggles I faced through multiple misdiagnosis.

Today, this special group of life changers were the nurses of Scripps Health. Nurses from multiple Scripps Hospital locations join together quarterly, to learn about how to better care for patients with various wounds and/or an ostomy. This course is put on by Scripps’ amazing team of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN’s), and it is such a privilege to present alongside such a dedicated team. After the class reviews the “basics” of ostomy care: what is an ostomy, the different types of ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, colostomy, etc.), ostomy pouches and pouching techniques, the do’s and don’ts, possible parastomal skin complications, and how to change/empty an ostomy pouch; the class is then introduced to me.

During my presentation I share significant moments in my life; from the start of my symptoms, my struggle through misdiagnoses, my final diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease, my 8-month hospital stay, and of course my ostomy surgery. I really emphasize what life is like with a stoma, the positive aspects of my life because of my ostomy surgery, how nurses can better support their ostomy patients, resources and tools to provide to their patients, as well as answering any questions they may have. I am always very honest and extremely open, even with the most intimate details of my life- because the reality is, having ostomy surgery is a very intimate thing. Because of this, not everyone likes to share; which is another reason why I do- so that hopefully, one day, less and less people living with an ostomy are silenced by the stigma.

-because the reality is, having ostomy surgery is a very intimate thing.

Sharing about my passion to raise awareness for other ostomy patients, like myself.
Sharing about my passion of raising awareness for ostomy patients.

After every one of these courses in which I have shared my story, I am encouraged not only by the WOCN’s who arrange the class, but also by the nurses attending. “It is a breath of fresh air to hear from a patient”, one nurse told me. Providing insight into positive patient perspective, allows nurses’ perspective and approach towards ostomy patients to be changed as well. It is an incredible opportunity to influence and encourage these nurses, and to remind them to approach ostomy patients with a little more compassion and patience. But most of all, it is motivating to continue to raise awareness on behalf of ostomy patients, to promote life for the better because of ostomy surgery, and continue my passion of sharing my story in the effort to change lives.

Providing insight into positive patient perspective, allows nurses’ perspective and approach towards ostomy patients to be changed as well.