Anetha at Celebrity Angels speaks to Sarah Smith, the founder of Medi-Redi about her experiences of motherhood and establishing a new system, Medi-Redi, to manage her children’s medicine.
What was your first, initial reaction to motherhood?
It is not unusual for first time mothers to find the initial stages of motherhood incredibly difficult. I most certainly did.
Nobody could have prepared me for the relentless exhaustion and the overwhelming sense of responsibility.
I soon got over the initial shock and a couple of years later I had my son.
Thankfully both children were healthy and apart from my daughter suffering with regular bouts of tonsillitis, they just occasionally suffered the typical ailments children go through during childhood such as teething, colic, reflux, colds/flu, infections, bugs etc. All relatively normal.
How did you find the process of treating your children, when they were ill?
On the occasions they were ill, I found managing the medicines quite difficult. It was the fear of making a mistake. I knew too much paracetamol could cause liver damage and sometimes, when they were particularly poorly, I was told I could alternate between ibuprofen and paracetamol. I was left even more worried, as now I had to remember which medicine, I had given last. The doses were also different and therefore I had to make sure I didn’t get them mixed up!
I tried to be organised by writing it down, but sometimes I’d forget and frankly, after a couple of nights of broken sleep even the simplest of tasks absorbed all my concentration.
Of course, these illnesses soon passed and just when normality was resuming, the other one would get ill!
Sounds familiar, right?
What options did you consider for managing your children’s medicine?
I spoke with friends who also struggled and although, they had devised their own systems they didn’t feel comfortable sharing this responsibility with their partners. I looked to see if there was anything, I could buy that would help, yet there was nothing. I thought this was really odd, after all children do get ill and need medicine occasionally. This scenario wasn’t unique to me.
It was when my youngest started school I decided to do some research. I had zero experience, though having been a full-time mum for 8 years I was excited to try something different.
How did you go about the initial “foundations” of creating a medicine management system tailored to kids?
I contacted the local hospital and spoke with paediatrics, as well as doctors, nurses, health visitors and parents. The feedback was immensely positive. I was amazed at how helpful and encouraging everyone was.
I found a design company, who produced the initial design for me and thereafter, I contacted universities to see if they could help with creating a prototype. I was lucky to find a professor who kindly printed my first 3D prototype free of charge.
The council put me in touch with the local Growth Hub who offered support to people who have a business idea. The help I received from them was invaluable and enabled me to secure funding.
Last year, I received investment and now this year, I manufactured my first production run of Medi-Redi storage timers.
Post Medi-Redi, what have been your biggest life lessons?
The biggest lesson I learned is to not be afraid to ask for help. I have been amazed at how kind, generous and helpful people have been. My advice to anyone who has an idea or goal is to visualise achieving it and keep moving towards it. Never stop moving towards it.
Secondly, you will make mistakes, but don’t waste time regretting them because you will learn from all of them – it’s called experience.
My vision was to create something that would help parents when their children were ill and keep children safe. The research I carried out enabled me to add even more helpful features and functions, so the reality turned out to be better than my vision