I am grateful for Medtronic Canada, specifically the customer support person in Brampton, Ontario who took my call. Let me explain.
I just arrived home from a whirlwind road trip with daughter number four. Thea. Thea is here visiting me from Alberta and we decided to take Cape Breton by storm and that’s exactly what we did, except the storm that blew up was not what we were expecting, but then where storms are concerned it usually goes that way.
Thea and I drove the Cabot Trail stopping to explore whenever the spirit moved us, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the natural beauty and splendour that attracts countless visitors to the province every year. The storm blew up on our last day while we were hiking on a trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We were thirty minutes along the trail when disaster struck.
Thea has Type 1 Diabetes and uses an insulin pump to stay alive, a Medtronic Paradigm Insulin Pump to be exact. The pump failed, a catastrophic error reading. We were hours from home in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia, a small village on the Cape Breton shore. Thea’s insulin pump was done. It doesn’t take many minutes without the pump delivering insulin into Thea’s system for blood sugars to start rising to dangerous levels.
As we hurried back along the trail to the car, Thea could feel her panic and fear grow, and the unrelenting burden of diabetes was crushing her, not to mention the worry regarding the enormous cost for a device that eliminates seizures from her list of challenges, that makes managing her blood sugars less difficult, improves the quality of her life and lessens the disastrous side effects of the disease. I understood her panic and tears and I felt my own panic until I slipped into my superhero uniform that mothers keep at the ready.
Upon arriving back to our cabin, we called the Medtronic Canada Technical Support line and Superman answered the phone. He made his identity known immediately as he calmed our fear and assured us a replacement pump would be in our hands very soon and eight hours later a very kind woman knocked on our cabin door with a Fed-Ex box in her hands and I knew Thea was going to be okay. I exhaled rather dramatically.
Medtronic came through, standing behind a product they sell, keeping their customers safe and hiring employees who give of their heart to do their ordinary jobs in an extraordinary manner.
The replacement insulin pump was in Dartmouth, Superman told us. In good conditions the drive from Dartmouth to where Thea and I were staying is an almost five hour drive. That meant they had people at the ready to jump in his/her car and beat it on down the roads of often questionable quality in Nova Scotia to bring the pump to us. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief and still thanking my lucky stars. It seems so little goes right in this world when you listen to the news and the complaints swirling about in our every day lives, but this is one of those circumstances that started out frightening and an anxiety-filled reminder that diabetes never sleeps, never takes holidays and never lets Thea completely relax, but the day finished up with a huge smile and sigh of relief. Thank you, Medtronic and thank you to the kind customer support individual who answered our call. I am so grateful.