Day 113- Johnson & Johnson Co.

The healthcare conglomerate doesn't just make products-- it saves lives.

All day today, my house has been abuzz with making final preparations for our trip to Puerto Rico. There’s been packing, listing, checking, laundry, and praying. Although the big day is Tuesday, since Mom has work tomorrow and I’m going with her to Valencia, there’s not much we can do until we get home tomorrow afternoon.

So, I’m going to make this really quick, but hopefully heartfelt! I’m writing to Johnson & Johnson, the mega-conglomerate of all things health and hygiene. If you think J & J products are exclusively for babies, think again. Sure, they make great diaper rash ointment and tear-free shampoo. But the enterprise makes far more critical products– many that are life-saving.

Many years ago, my neurosurgeon (at the time) sent my father with a prescription to get a shunt from a medical products store. We all buy aspirin and cold medicine, and occasionally antibiotics for ourselves or for children. Very rarely, however, do people walk into a medical supplier and ask for a valve device to be inserted in their daughter’s brain.

Today, I discovered that Codman, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson, manufactures shunts for hydrocephalus, like the one my father was asked to obtain for me. I plan to send letters to two different addresses: one for Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters in New Jersey, and one for the Codman headquarters in Massachusetts.

And if you’re still not convinced about J & J as a potential “hero” for spina bifida, think about this: you probably already knew that they make products to be used on a baby’s head, but you probably never dreamed they made devices for the inside of a baby’s head! A device without which I wouldn’t have been able to function, quite possibly. To be honest, many people (about 90 percent of us) are born with both spina bifida and hydrocephalus. For many of those people, hydrocephalus may be the aspect about spina bifida that bothers them the most. Not for me, thank God. No, for the most part, save for the many shunt revisions I had as a baby, and one I had as a teenager, I hardly think about my shunt once it’s in there. But, as I know now, I probably could hardly think without it. It’s in there, on the left side of my head, working for me, every second of every day.

Pretty scary to imagine your life depends on a device that could fail, right? Then again, we all depend on something– oxygen, our hearts, our brains, etc. Yeah. I have absolutely no idea where I was going with this. My apologies to the baffled and confused.

Before I go, I want to express my deep sorrow in hearing of the passing on of the very talented and beautiful Brittany Murphy. I pray that the loved ones and friends she has left behind will find comfort in this very difficult time. Her death was a huge shock to me, and I always enjoyed her films.

Well, I must leave you now. In a last-minute impulse for holiday baking, I am going to make some brownies. (You can bet they’re from a box!) I’ll be putting my culinary skills to the test, while watching a Food Network Challenge on edible Christmas ornaments. (Yeah, my baking doesn’t hold a candle to theirs!)

I’ll be updating soon enough. As the enigmatic Brittany Murphy would say, “I hope not sporadically.”

Telemundo “Triunfadores” video on YouTube:

Love & Blessings,

Laurita ♥


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