Shunt Donation Project – Three shunts = three lives (and another forty are on the way!!)

May 24, 2013

If you’ve just jumped in, you can read more about my Shunt Donation Project (no. 6 on the List) here.

And if you’re wondering what this ‘F-List’ I keep banging on about is, you can read about that here.

Yep – I have shunts.  Three Medtronic shunts – the whole system (valve bit which goes in your head, reservoir bit and all the tubing for the rest of the body).  And a manual.  They’re actually sitting on my kitchen worktop and I can’t quite get my head around the fact that only seven weeks after I started to try and get this off the ground, I actually have some life-saving equipment.

First three shunts.  If this is how happy I am with three, what am I going to be like when the other forty arrive??

First three shunts. If this is how happy I am with three, what am I going to be like when the other forty arrive??

These first shunts were donated by a very kind, very helpful and very supportive lady from a hospital.  I said to her that collecting them on Wednesday made me feel happier than a seven year-old on Christmas morning.  As if that wasn’t enough, the forty shunts from Codman have passed their audit and are on their way!  I don’t usually whoop but, seriously – whoop!
It’s been very interesting journey so far. I honestly expected to be faced with lots of ‘we know you mean well but here are the problems and reasons why you should maybe drop it’ conversations from hospital professionals.  Not because I think they’re mean or negative or anything like that but because I had no clue about what limitations I might encounter, no idea about hospital policies regarding donating unused equipment and no inkling of whether I would be able to persuade them that this was worth doing.  I couldn’t have been further off the mark.  All I’ve had is support, help, encouragement and generosity.  It’s heartwarming.  To think that this is only after the first two hospitals have responded is a good sign.  My initial plan to hit as many as I could at once I had to re-think as it was simply too many names/emails/phone numbers/different stages of development for my shunted brain to keep up with.  This system is working better: choose a couple of hospitals and then hassle the hell out of them until they submit!  (Kidding).
So now I need to get these shunts packed and off to their rightful owners; children currently lying in pain overseas.  Quicker the better; I shall update you soon.  To everyone who has helped and/or sent supportive comments so far, a MAHOOOSIVE thank you.  Let’s keep going, eh!!

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  • Reply streetgirla May 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    That is such amazing news

    fantastic work !!!!!! 🙂

    • Reply jordantheheadcase May 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Thank you streetgirla, it’s great to have a couple of steps forwards! x

  • Reply Diane Blair Hickey June 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    What an amazing story, I am so moved. I have never heard of hydrocephalus. I wish you the best of luck. Is there some way that people outside the medical community can help?

    • Reply jordantheheadcase June 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Diane, sorry for the delay in responding; tooth trouble! Thank you for the kind comment. At the moment, I am just asking people to link to and/or share the blog to raise a bit of awareness because it’s so much work just trying to sort out these first two donations that I need to give my full attention to that and ensure it all goes smoothly before I tackle the remaining (huge) list of donors and recipients! When I have more of a system in place I am sure that people outside the medical community could certainly help if they wanted to. It’s often a case of not what you know, but who you know in situations like these! I am thinking of approaching the media with it once things are up-and-running so there may be something on that end. Sorry to be vague but I don’t really know as yet! Any ideas or suggestions will always be very, very welcome however! x

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