Ostomy lifestyle expert feels 'lucky'

Monday, July 31, 2017

Laura Cox has served as Shield Healthcare’s ostomy living expert for 3½ years. She was hired by the company after CEO Jim Snell saw her speak about her ileostomy on an episode of Tosh.0. She talks about her interest in telling her story to educate and break down the stigma around ostomy.  
HME News: How does sharing your personal experience help others?
Laura Cox: People get an ostomy for all sorts of reasons. Mine was inflammatory bowel disease. When I was doing my own research, there wasn’t much information I could find, so I thought I would try to talk about it and be open and positive. There’s definitely a need to connect and feel understood. People kind of ache to be able to relate to someone.
HME: What are the challenges that new ostomy patients have?
Cox: It’s a lot of lifestyle stuff. One is how do I shower, how do I swim? How do I keep my pouch from leaking? Some of it is related to intimacy, or how do I tell my friend? How do I build the confidence to go outside of my house? How do I make my life full with this new thing? They want to know they aren’t alone. It’s a wonderful additive to the clinical information that patients get.
HME: Why is this platform so important to you?
Cox: I feel really lucky to do what I do for Shield Healthcare. They discovered me when I was advocating for myself and we’ve been able to bring that to so many people. This is my life’s passion—to help people. It’s the reward of having someone say, ‘This helped me so much’ or ‘I went on an airplane for the first time in 10 years because I read this blog.’"