Local Mum, Sarah Smith, explains her invention to help other parents.
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 – the first of many!
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 the times when they woke up in the middle of the night and 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 no 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 DR, nurses, local health visitors and parents and carried out surveys to gather as much information as possible.
I have received very positive feedback from Great Ormond Street Hospital, Royal College or Paediatrics and Child Health as well as the Institute of Health Visiting.
I worked with a design company to create the initial design. 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 the Thames Valley 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.
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 them – it’s all 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!