Eye Guide MC, a device created by Lincolnshire woman Sandra McDonough, who has battled Parkinson’s for nearly two decades, launched in May 2021 and since then has gone from strength to strength with enquiries coming in from around the globe.
Sandra, inventor and founder of the device and its associated company, said she has learnt so much in her first 12 months as a business owner and is ‘fired up’ for the next chapter as the business continues to grow.
She said: “It has been a very challenging and eye-opening experience setting up and establishing a business during and in the direct aftermath of a pandemic – but I wouldn’t change anything we’ve experienced so far. We’ve navigated the hurdles as a team and step by step we’ve grown our little start-up into a busy operation.
“We’re thrilled to report that we’ve now fitted more than 100 people with the device, visiting the USA and Ireland as well as various parts of the UK. The testimonials we’re receiving are what pushes us onwards. I can’t put into words how rewarding and fulfilling it is to hear how our device is changes the lives of people with Parkinson’s. Here’s to the next 100 – no make that 1,000! – fittings.”
Sandra was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s on the eve of her 40th birthday and gradually deteriorated until she could no longer drive and was resigned to using a wheelchair. The remarkable concept of the Eye Guide MC came to Sandra when she had almost given up hope of living in comfort again.
The discreet device sits unobtrusively over the wearers’ ear, like a hearing aid does. It contains no batteries, no wires, no plugs and requires no surgery to fit. It is a very thin and discreet device that hooks over the ear, carefully calibrated with weights so that it sits in the perfect position in the peripheral vision in order to send a new message to the brain, overwriting the signals which affect balance, speech and movement and cause tremors in people with Parkinson’s.
Eye Guide MC first opened its clinic in Spalding, Lincoln in May 2021. Supported by her husband Chris as CEO of the company, the team which is headed up by Sandra has now expanded to six.
With over 40 different symptoms of Parkinson’s the device does not claim to work for everyone, but the results so far have been astounding. A clinical trial looking into the way in which the device works will be soon be underway.
Tracey Edwards, who was fitted with the Eye Guide MC in April, said her Parkinson’s symptoms were now noticeably better not only for herself but to her friends and family.
She said: “You have to believe and hope don’t you, so I took a chance and travelled from West Sussex to meet Sandra and her team and receive a fitting and trial.
“The 4-hour journey home after fitting gave me hope that things were going to be different and I continued to notice positive improvements over the next few weeks.
“My friends all say they have noticed a difference in me, particularly in my posture and the way I walk. The Guide makes me feel alive again, and my most bothersome symptom – the tremor – has definitely improved, I find I’m not noticing it at all during daily activities.”