A passionate story from MIMI Medical founder, Julie Slayton.

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I’d like to share with you the story of MIMI Medical.  It is based on a very special lady named Jacquelyn.  She continues to enhance the lives of everyone she meets.It was the summer of 2007 and Jacquelyn’s youngest daughter was debating on whether or not to travel to Florida for a family reunion.  Work was hectic for both her and her husband and she decided not to make the trip when she got the call.  It was her Mother, Jacquelyn.   She said “You have to come to Florida, Dear.”  The daughter asked  “Why?  I told you we can’t get the time off work right now – we’re saving it for the holidays”.   Jacquelyn calmly said “Your Father has died…..and I need you here.”  The days that followed were a blur and simply awful.  Somehow the week passed, the funeral was over and the daughter returned home with her family trying to resume their lives and coping with their loss.

Two years later Jacquelyn decided to sell her home and move across the street from her daughter.  The Grandchildren were so excited that Grandma was going to be close by, and her daughter was looking forward to afternoon lunches and long shopping trips.

Unfortunately, just two short months after Jacquelyn was settled in her new home she started to feel ill.  She called her daughter and asked her to come over.  Her daughter rushed across the street and realized she needed to call 911.  The operator was polite and calm (something she needed), but she was asking a lot of questions – but the daughter had no answers.  She was asked to gather her Mother’s prescription bottles and hand them to the paramedics.  The daughter had no idea where her Mom kept her medications and she was sure they were not all in the same place.  The fear of “Did I miss one – did I grab all of them” echoed in her mind.  When the paramedics arrived they started asking the same routine questions;  “What medications is she taking?”  “What are they for?”  “What are the dosages?”  “What are her allergies?”  “Does she have any pre-existing conditions?” “Height?”  “Weight?”  The daughter was looking at the paramedics feeling half embarrassed and half useless.  She always thought her and her Mother were close – but the truth was, she didn’t even know if her Mother wore dentures or if she was an organ donor.  She knew where she liked to go to lunch and where she liked to shop but they just never spoke of her health information.

Panic mode quickly set in and the room began to spin.  The daughter was faced with an emergency that she didn’t know how to handle and she was terrified since she couldn’t answer any medical questions accurately she might be making the situation worse.  As she followed the ambulance to the hospital she said out-loud “Mother if you pull through this we’re going to have a long talk.”

Luckily her Mother did survive.  Jacquelyn is completely bedridden and now lives with her daughter and they had that “long talk”.  The daughter was taking her new role as a full time caregiver very seriously.  She didn’t want to be in that same position again where she couldn’t answer important lifesaving questions about her Mother’s health.  She wanted to be able to help her Mother – to be there for her.  She didn’t have all her Mother’s health information, but she had enough to get started.  She lovingly named it MIMI after her daughter.  The first version of MIMI was created.

Jacquelyn’s health continued to decline and frequent hospital visits became a part of life for them.  MIMI proved to be helpful immediately.  The daughter would give the medical professional her Mother’s printed MIMI.  She didn’t have to spend time filling out lengthy medical forms, she didn’t have to carry her prescriptions in a plastic bag, and she didn’t have to guess at routine medical questions – having MIMI allowed her to concentrate on her Mother – not medical questions.  Then MIMI started to get noticed by doctors, nurses, home healthcare workers, social workers, case workers, EMT’s – and even other people in the ER or a doctor office waiting room.  Everyone who saw MIMI loved it and wanted it.  The medical professionals encouraged her to “Do something with this!!! This makes our job so much easier to be able to treat people with the correct care and fast with having all their information right here!” They would tell her “Everyone needs this!” “You don’t know how many people only know the color of their prescriptions instead of the actual name.”  MIMI is vital to a medical professional.  Your printed MIMI  can “speak” for you if you can’t.  Having your health information at your fingertips is priceless.

Her daughter started thinking about it – “MIMI could really help people – just like me – in the same position caring for a loved one.”   Then she said to herself, “My husband could never answer medical questions about me or our children…emergency or not.”  She quickly realized that MIMI could be very helpful for building a family medical history – track their children’s vaccinations, important exam dates, food allergies, medications, etc.  MIMI is a convenient tool for organizing medical history and prescription information.  Something every family should have.

Jacquelyn continues to reside with her daughter – and I’m proud to say that Jacquelyn is my Mother.  That awful day in May 2009 changed our lives – – in an instant.  I still find myself frequently thinking about “that day” – and how I wish I would’ve been better prepared to help her.  I guess I just thought, like many of us, nothing would ever happen to me or my family.  I was wrong.  I was tested – my faith was tested that day.  And I continue to be tested every day with trying to provide the correct care for my Mother and to make sure she’s comfortable and she feels loved.  Being a caregiver is not easy.  You have to be the eyes of the physician and the voice of your loved one.  But I know regardless of how stressful things get – I feel more confident having MIMI for my family.  I know that in the event of an emergency, or just routine doctor visits, I will have their information at my fingertips.  I know that MIMI can save valuable time and also take the guesswork out of trying to answer medical/prescription questions (that I’m sure I would answer wrong anyway).   I wouldn’t be without MIMI for my family.

I know the day will come when my Mother will no longer be here with us.  Her room will be silent, her bed empty, her wheelchair will be draped with her favorite afghan in the corner, and the smell of Beautiful perfume will linger in the air.  Our family will be faced, once again, dealing with the loss of a loved one – my children will be crushed as will I and my husband.  But the story of “How MIMI Medical Was Created” will always remain.  The story will be hard to tell – as I’m sure tears will sting my eyes. But I will always know that MIMI was made out of love for my Mom and my family.  If there is one thing we all know – it’s that life is unpredictable.  Being prepared with medical history readiness is just smart.  I’d rather have MIMI and not need it, than to need MIMI and not have it.

Are you prepared?

Julie SlaytonJulie  Slayton
Family Caregiver / Owner / Founder