11th July 2019
A guest blog by Sarah Smith, Creator and Founder of Medi-Redi, sharing her journey as a mother worried about making a mistake with medicine times or giving her children the wrong dose, and what she did about it.
Like many first-time mums, I found the initial stages of motherhood a huge shock. Nobody could have prepared me for the relentless exhaustion and the overwhelming sense of responsibility.
By the time my daughter was 3-months old I was feeling more confident, we had a routine and I was getting more sleep. Unfortunately this is also when my daughter had her first bout of tonsillitis. What I didn’t realise at the time was that she was going to suffer regularly with this for years to come.
The drill was always the same for her: 2 to 4 days and nights with high temperature, pain, not wanting to eat or drink and generally feeling pretty miserable.
As expected with children it is normal to get the occasional bug and infection and after my son was born they would often pass these between themselves.
I always worried that I would make a mistake with the medicine times or give them the wrong dose. I found it particularly difficult trying to calculate how much time I’d left since the last dose, especially in the middle of the night when I was half asleep. I looked to see if there was anything I could buy to help, but there was nothing available, which I thought was odd. After all, children do get ill and need medicine occasionally. This scenario wasn’t unique to me.
When my youngest started school I decided to do some research. I had zero experience, but having been a full-time mum for 8 years I was excited to try something different.
I contacted the local hospital and met the clinical engineering team who put me in touch with the R&D team. I was amazed at how helpful and encouraging everyone was. I spoke with my doctor, nurses, local health visitors and parents, and carried out surveys to gather as much information as possible.
I found a design company who did the initial design for me. I then contacted universities to see if anyone could help me with making a prototype. I was lucky to find a professor who kindly printed my first prototype free of charge.
The turning point was finding there was support available through my local Growth Hub. A scheme which provides people who have a business idea with guidance and support. The help I received was invaluable and enabled me to secure funding.
Last year, I received investment and this year I manufactured my first production run of Medi-Redi medicine timers and delivered my first order to a pharmacy chain.
The biggest lesson I learned is to not be afraid to ask for help. I have been amazed at how kind, generous and helpful people have been.
My advice to anyone who has an idea or goal is to visualise achieving it and keep moving towards it. Never stop moving, it doesn’t matter if you occasionally go slowly or even if you go in the wrong direction, just keep moving and visualising your goal.
Secondly, you will make mistakes, but don’t waste time regretting them because you will learn from all of them – it’s called experience.
My vision was to create something that would help give parents peace of mind and help ensure children receive the right medicine at the right time. The years of research enabled me to add additional features and functions to make it even more useful. If you would like to know more please visit www.medi-redi.com
Finally in case you’re wondering – my daughter did eventually have a tonsillectomy and hasn’t suffered since!