I am always fascinated by how really great ideas come to be. Such is the case with a woman I recently got to know named Annette. My friend and neighbor Lorrie introduced us. Lorrie, herself is an amazing woman but that is a whole other blog. lol I’m glad Lorrie introduced me to Annette and it’s no wonder Annette and Lorrie are friends because she’s amazing too! Annette created a company called CastCoverz! and it’s exactly what it says…they have cast covers, crutches, accessories and even water-proof products. Did I mention that Annette is also a Breast-Cancer Survivor? Well let me tell you a little more about her story because it’s pretty darn interesting.
Annette’s daughter Elli broke her arm when she was ten. It was her SIXTH broken bone. (SIX more followed) I know, stop it right?! Annette busted out her sewing machine and made Elli a few cover and sling sets and voila, her accidental creation, CastCoverz!, was born. Their mission is simple: provide fun and functional products that comfort orthopedic patients. Duh…you feel better, you heal better. Makes total sense to me. CastCoverz! now has 18 branded products (proudly made in the USA) Fun, fashion, and function in the orthopedic world. I love this. I mean look at all of the products they have for arms, legs, fingers, crutches, canes, walkers, you name it! Seriously, whether it’s for you, your kids, grandparents… they really do have something for everyone! It’s kinda crazy. Crazy awesome! Oh and they have waterproof stuff too and with Summer here, I say that’s BRILLIANT! Kelly Ripa even got one for her son!
But wait, there’s more. So we have this Breast Cancer Surviving creative entrepreneur Annette whose daughter broke her bones a total of TWELVE times right, but what about the last two? You will never even believe that there’s even to this story because I sure didn’t when she told me a few weeks ago. Annette and her daughter Elli were in a pretty bad car accident a little over a year ago. I was shocked when she told me all of the details and I asked her if I could share her story with all of you because it’s pretty insane. Here it is as written by Annette when it happened over a year ago:
“My 17 year old daughter and I were in a serious car accident two months ago. Elli suffered the greatest with a broken femur and collarbone. We were hit by an unlicensed driver who ran a red light, then struck a vehicle which launched him airborne, until he slammed into my daughter who was sitting in the front passenger seat of my car. You can’t see it in the picture, but the truck’s wheel imprint was just 1 foot behind where my daughter sat. 3 cars were totalled and the jaws of life had to be used to extricate her from the car. It was the most helpless feeling a mother could ever have. And nothing ever prepares you to witness your child throwing up in a cervical collar. The next day, a rod was literally hammered up into her femur and screws installed into her hip and knee. Instead of having a 5 inch scar across her shoulder, she chose to have her collarbone heal on its own.
At a time when most 17 year olds are looking at Forever 21 or Hollister brands, Elli’s accessories were a hospital bed and wheelchair. The doctor had an in-your-face description of her condition, “while she heals, she doesn’t have the use of 50% of her body.” She couldn’t roll over in bed, brush her hair, or brush her teeth. I will honor my daughter by not describing more of what she couldn’t do or what she needed help with. Imagine being a 17 year old girl wanting to assert your independence during your much anticipated senior summer, now once again totally dependent on your mother. My heart ached for her. She needed 3 people to get her out of bed and into the wheelchair, an excruciating, exhausting event for her. I had to give her shots in her skinny belly so she wouldn’t die of blood clots due to laying flat. No matter how much she needed me, I thanked God every time she called for me, whether it was 5 times in 20 minutes or the middle of the night due to hallucinations from the pain medications. That’s because the alternative, loss of limb, paralysis, or death, could have been our reality.
There wasn’t a dry eye as she was wheeled across her high school auditorium by friends to receive her graduation diploma. Even though my daughter lost her senior summer, blessedly she will physically recover from her injuries. Two and a half months later, she uses her wheelchair for long excursions (farmer’s market, shopping, etc…) and crutches for shorter stints (around the house, to the movies). She’s finally back in her own bed and bedroom surrounded by her familiar pictures, soft pillows and fuzzy blankets. She’s even starting to go out with friends.
This horrific nightmare didn’t stop my Elli. Still in a wheelchair or crutches, she is volunteering next week, her 6th year, for Vacation Bible School at our church, and she’s worked a few hours at CastCoverz! for spending money (thankfully, there is only so much of the Kardashians you can watch). In 3 short weeks from now, we drop her off at Auburn University in Alabama, 2,300 miles from home, to begin her college career. Amazingly, she’s excited about it. Bless her heart. Bless her great big “I’m-not-letting-anything-stop-me-from-living-a-great-life” heart.
In no way do I minimize her condition, but it is a miracle that Elli “only” broke bones. Her femur and collar bone are broken bones number 11 and 12 and neither require a cast, so no covers from CastCoverz! to make her “Feel Better, so she could Heal Better.” But, she could hand-pick as many designer Slingz! she wanted, and chose a rainbow of designer color crutches and crutch covers. In addition, our awesome team of sewists, tailored her clothes to accommodate a broken collar bone and femur. Best of all, the CastCoverz! team kept the business humming along while I stayed home to care for Elli.
God, side airbags and my big ole’ burb saved my daughter’s life. Angels came dressed as friends who made her laugh and helped her with year-end school projects. More angels delivered home-cooked delicious meals and were also disguised as employees who went out of their way so a mother could care for her badly broken daughter. We are blessed. So very, very blessed.”
I mean oh em GEEEEEE! How crazy is Annette’s story? She is truly Surviving Mommy! I’m so happy to have gotten to know Annette and learn more about her, her family and her inspiration for her company CastCoverz! Plus, now I know the PERFECT place to go should I, or anyone in my family or any of my friends need the perfect and fun orthopedic product. She’s helped little babies with cast covers AND even brides who’ve broken their arms weeks before their wedding day by making them custom cast covers to match their dress! I SERIOUSLY LOVE THIS COMPANY!
Thanks for letting me share Annette’s story with you and if you wanna check out CastCoverz!, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest or visit them online at CastCoverz! Oh and how about a FREE Member of the Broken Bones Club t-shirt with any order? These are 100% quality cotton T’s! Just put SURVIVING MOMMY in the customer contact section. Expires June 15th! Enjoy!
XO Surviving Mommy
Check out the story Yahoo did on CastCoverz!