I’m sitting in my kitchen with the sound of the Paw Patrol soundtrack repeating multiple times in the background as my two year old coughs away and once again awaits his ‘fortnightly’ PCR test. A standard, familiar morning for us in many ways. Today however is different, today I’m repeatedly singing and occasionally dancing to the lines of the Amy Macdonald song…
‘The butterflies keep flying, flying all over the place….and all I see is life, life in a beautiful light.’ I feel a sense of pre-match nerves and excitement, immense pride for my team as tonight they will be attending the Shard for the Digital Leaders 100 award where we have been shortlisted into the top 3 in the HealthTech Innovation section. I can’t quite believe that just over a year ago I was sat at the same kitchen table, in lockdown with a small baby in my arms feeling like a complete fraud as I gave myself the title ‘Specialist Physio Lead of Denton Physio Technology.’ We had a rare God sent opportunity, the timing was, in my eyes, not ideal with three small boys under 7 running around the place and a husband trying to keep his head above water amidst the chaos. But as I have said in previous blogs, ‘it was now or never, the ship was moving and I had to be on it.
'Never say no to a Denton'
I am incredibly proud of our team at DPT. We have somehow managed to survive on a shoestring. In the words of the Bible ‘Jehovah Jireh.. The Lord has provided.’ Day by Day, Month by month we have worked hard with tremendous support from the CSP and other institutions (without which we wouldn’t be here today), we have gained more and more traction. ‘I remember Euan McComiskie (Title) saying in one of our earliest meetings with him…’you are the crazy man dancing on the hill, everyone will think you are crazy for a while but then they will all be joining you dancing on the hill.’ Today has proved him right and that the tide is slowly turning.
What is that saying? Never listen to the naysayers! We have a saying too at DPT... it’s ‘never say no to a Denton’ as it makes them want to do it more. It’s a trait that seems to run through the family! What started with 1 set of sensors and patient zero – ( by the way the first set was faulty, the second set we ordered for him got lost en- route from Romania and the 3rd set was a great success). My friends and colleagues probably still think we are a bit mad but like on the hockey pitch we saw a gap and ran into the space confident that we would one day put the ball in the back of the net. We are still surviving on a shoestring but as I said in a previous blog ‘we are still here and I have a sneaky suspicion we will still be here this time next year. So whether we win or come third it doesn’t matter, we have already won, we have introduced digital transformation into the UK market and hopefully set an example for others to follow. It’s been a rollercoaster, we’ve made mistakes, each of us can remember meetings in the early days with significant leaders of the physiotherapy world and we cringe looking back. But, now those leaders are starting to come back to us seeing that maybe now we have a much better idea of what we are doing and even they are starting to think about ‘dancing on that hill with us.’
HealthTech Innovation of the Year Awards
But for me, there is even more to this award. When my little boy was 4 months old I was diagnosed with postnatal PTSD. There were times where I couldn’t get out of the house due to severe flashbacks, panic attacks and nightmares (See blog @birthbetter). I couldn’t imagine ever working in a hospital again and even considered a change of career from my beloved profession of physiotherapy into writing/art. If you had told me then what I know now I never would have believed you. To be able to take my kids to school was the main goal I had in life. Without the help of Gloucestershire Perinatal Mental Health services and Let’s Talk Gloucestershire I would still be in the same state today. I will be indebted to them for the rest of my life.
If you had told me that I would be leading a team who are attending the Shard for a huge award ceremony and presenting for a health conference in Hong Kong, I could not have fathomed the idea. They told me at the time repeatedly that ‘it would get better’ Like I said, better for me would have been making the dinner, doing the school run, going for a swim but better has been so much more. So again, whether we win or not tonight it doesn’t matter to me (though the competitive side of me would love to lift a trophy).
Sadly (and in some ways controversially), I can’t be there tonight, due to family commitments and also a natural introvert. I'm happier on the sofa in my pyjamas with my kids than in heels in London. But there or not, I’m partying to the tunes of Amy Macdonald today in my kitchen with my kids and praising God that he has restored my health tenfold, provided every step of the way and enabled up through DPT to potentially help thousands of people across the UK. It does get better! Well done DPT.
Specialist Physiotherapy Lead