|My experience with oxygen has not been a fun one, but it has been necessary. Kay-Lyn has been on oxygen for a good portion of her life. I try to look at it as a medicine, helping her body recover from her latest bout with pneumonia or sometimes just a cold. It’s always hard to wrestle a kid and fight to keep an oxygen cannula on for their first cold in a while. Waking up to her having wrestled her way back off her cannula is heartbreaking. My biggest fear with her sleeping on her oxygen was that she was constantly tossing and turning and waking up tangled. One morning we woke up to her neck in 2 full wraps and my biggest fear came true. I searched for clothes made for kids on oxygen, but I found that there weren’t any. Then my idea came to me. I don’t have much experience creating clothes, so I spent a long time in the trial and error phase. I started out with off the rack clothes that I though I could modify to fit my need, adding holes, making loops to feed tubes through.||
I walked in to Kay-Lyn’s daycare room after work one evening to see her being tugged on by two toddlers. They both wanted to chew on the soft silicone oxygen line and were having a little tug of war. At this age, around 9 months, Kay-Lyn wasn’t just starting to sit up and was struggling sometimes to keep her head up. With that image in mind I knew I needed to make her tube not so easy to get a hold of. The focus was on the loops, they needed the right amount of flexible, elastic, durable and grippy. It was about the 4th prototype that we found the material that would change everything. The silicone and elastic mix fit the bill perfectly. We could feed a line down the side of a pajama and it would stay pretty secure where it couldn’t be pulled up, down, around, or off by curious kids.
When the materials all started to come together this idea I dreamed up in my head was taking shape and becoming real. We got to testing and Kay-Lyn wasn’t tangling in tubes. She wasn’t pulling her oxygen completely off of her face. She was finally getting some restful sleep at night.
I started to seek out the opinions and ideas of other moms. I was so focused on oxygen clothes I had not given a lot of thought to other possible uses. I learned that the pattern I had created worked well for accessing feeding tubes and colostomy bags, two things I haven’t had experience with. I was also asked if I could include something to make medical ports more accessible. With new ideas flooding in I will be adding more designs very soon. When I started this I had no idea the journey we would take to get where we are. I had no idea the stories I would hear and bonds I would make with other parents, neighbors, and their children.
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