Finding friendship on the path to recovery
It’s not often that chronic pain leads to life-long friendship and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but that’s exactly what happened to Marianne Jordan and Sandy Found.
Even before meeting in 2015, Marianne and Sandy had a lot in common. Both women enjoyed active lifestyles and spending time outdoors and had devoted their lives to helping others – Marianne as a hardworking nurse and Sandy as a dedicated high school teacher.
The two also had experienced debilitating back injuries and difficult recoveries – including countless doctor’s office visits and pain prescriptions, interspersed with moments of exhaustion and desperation – before finding life-changing relief with spinal cord stimulation (SCS).
Through an implantable device, SCS delivers pulses of electric current to mask pain signals traveling to the brain, providing relief for many patients experiencing chronic pain.
“My injury took away my ability to enjoy everything I loved, and being a couch potato impacted my emotional health,” says Marianne. “But, within a few months of receiving SCS, I was able to restart training, to be able to participate in triathlons and return to my beloved snowboarding – endeavors that I didn’t believe would ever be possible again.”
Sandy recalls a long journey struggling to find relief for her pain. “By the time I learned about SCS, I was starting to feel hopeless, but when my doctor assured me that I could use the trial period before deciding on a permanent implant, I was convinced,” says Sandy. “I felt immediate relief with the trial and remember joking with my doctor, ‘why didn’t we try this first?”
Their experiences inspired Marianne and Sandy to become SCS patient ambassadors for Boston Scientific—volunteering their time to listen to how patients are feeling and share how they have personally managed chronic pain. They met through the program and forged a friendship rooted in overcoming a traumatic injury and enhanced through their shared interests.
“Becoming an ambassador was an easy decision for me. Everyone experiences and overcomes pain differently, but if I can help others navigate that journey by offering my story and answering their questions, then I am happy to donate my time,” says Sandy.
Nearly ten years later, the women are embarking on a new journey together: completing Project Athena’s Florida Keys to Recovery adventure, a three-day, multisport adventure through 120 miles of the Florida Keys coastline. Project Athena is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping survivors of medical or other traumatic setbacks achieve their dreams.
“Sandy joined an adventure last year and she encouraged me to apply this year. We’ve been preparing for months and it’s a vigorous training plan, but the fact that we can do this together means the world to me,” says Marianne.
September is Pain Awareness Month. To learn more about Boston Scientific’s pain management solutions, visit www.pain.com.
Results from this case is not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.