- Meet Consumers/Patients
Bravery doesn’t always take guts! When you think about pioneers, what images come to mind? The pilgrims heading west, astronauts going “where no man has gone before,” Louis Pasteur or Madam Curie. When you think about the modern day pioneers names such as Doctors Shils, Bozian, Jeejeebhoy and the like come to mind. Their research led to the invention of home parenteral nutrition.
As inventive as they were, nothing could have been achieved if there hadn’t been brave patients willing to try this new therapy. Think about the courage it took to try something so new and unproven. The lucky ones not only survived, but thrived.
One such woman is Sharon Rose from Nashville, Tennessee. She has been on TPN since Oct of 1968, but doesn’t think of herself as a brave pioneer.
In the Beginning
Sharon’s intestines were removed because of a blood clot to an artery supplying blood to her gut. She endured primitive methods of TPN delivery, A-V shunts, “cut downs” and long hospitalizations. “During those hard, early years...I survived because of one man, my doctor, Richard Bozian,” she explained. “He was a maverick and we learned together. He fought the medical board to allow me to go home.”
After two years in the hospital, Sharon had had enough. She felt she had learned all she needed to know about her care. She juggled glass bottles, needles, syringes, ampoules and additives every night for years prior to the advent of pre-mixed solutions. Forty years ago there were no flexible catheters, specialized pumps or plastic TPN bags. As the medical professionals worked to perfect this new therapy, Sharon endured numerous trials, procedures and errors along the way. Sharon and the other original patients were the pioneers helping to determine the improvements that were necessary for the safe administration and maintenance of TPN.
Life Goes On
Sharon goes about her life in a quiet, humble manner. Asked her recipe for success; she says, “Don’t live your illness. It’s all in your outlook; you have to have a positive mindset.”
The biggest joy in her life came twenty-one years ago when, while managing her home, a job and being on TPN, she gave birth to twin boys, Adam and Brent. While working full-time as a nurse in the critical care and hemodialysis unit for many years has been difficult, Sharon says it gives her a great deal of satisfaction knowing she is helping others. She also enjoys sewing and gardening. Her strength, endurance and time management skills are impressive. She also credits support from her husband, George, and her children for the good life she has today.
Being a rather
private person, Sharon was apprehensive about giving this interview, and is
embarrassed to be considered an inspiration, but if it helps someone else she is
happy to share her experience. She wants everyone to know that a long life on
TPN is possible, and that the ups outweigh the downs.