In the last six months the team from Eye Guide MC, based in Spalding, have visited the USA and Ireland with their invention and most recently travelled to Dorset for a weeklong trip, where the specialist team fitted another 12 devices – taking their total to over 130 in just one year of trading.
Sandra McDonough, inventor and founder of the device, has battled Parkinson’s for more than 20 years. Since creating the device that has helped control her tremors and balance, she had made it her mission to help as many people as possible suffering from the condition, even if that means travelling far and wide.
Sandra said: “When we first opened our doors just over a year ago, I never thought that we’d be getting enquiries from Dorset let alone from across the world. It’s a dream come true to help other people who are in the same position I was in 15 years ago.
“When people ring us or message us on Facebook and tell us their stories I can’t just sit back, if I can help in any way I will. So, when we got a surge of enquiries from people in Dorset linked to a Parkinson’s support group there, I knew we had to make another trip and help these people.”
The trips around the globe require detailed planning and preparation. To ensure that the team have all the equipment needed to fit the device, they have invested in a camper van that they can travel around the UK in.
Recently Sandra took on the 600-mile round trip to Dublin in Ireland, with Business Development Manager, Ben Chester, to help fit another four Eye Guide MC devices.
The discreet device sits unobtrusively over the wearers’ ear, like a hearing aid does. It contains no batteries, no wires, no plugs and although it requires no surgery, a specialist member of the team does need to fit the device. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, it must be customised and tailored to each individual.
The device does not claim to work for everyone, but the results on over 130 people so far have been astounding.
The Eye Guide MC team are dedicated to helping people reclaim their independence. No matter how far you are from the Eye Guide MC office, the team are finding new ways to manage enquiries from further afield. If they receive enough enquiries from one city, the team are happy to facilitate and travel far and wide.
Sandra added: “For our trip to Dublin I had the whole of the Eye Guide MC team looking at the logistics and within a couple of days we’d booked flights. When we have a cluster of enquiries in the same area it makes it easier for us to travel as we can do a couple of fittings each day. It can be tiring, but seeing people put on the device for the first time and instantly see an improvement keeps me going. It makes everything worthwhile.”
The trip to Dublin came shortly after husband and wife, Chris and Sandra McDonough, visited the US to meet with a potential investor and Parkinson’s experts to showcase how the Eye Guide MC device can help manage the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s UK provided Eye Guide MC with early-stage advice and support to help get the device CE safety mark assessed. Parkinson’s UK do not formally endorse the product as it is still at an early stage of development, but they are keen to follow its progress. Sandra is a Parkinson’s UK volunteer and works with other Parkinson’s UK volunteers to provide support to others living with Parkinson’s in her local community.