7 years ago, I met a man at a medical device conference and that meeting changed the trajectory of my whole career and brought about my life’s dream – to have my own business.
Who is this man, you may ask? Over a cuppa tea, Ron Farrell, VP and Head of R&D and Quality at Sedana Medical Ltd. convinced me to fly to Sweden with him and his colleague Emily Ryan to implement a quality improvement project. I was working full-time at that moment, so I took holidays and flew to Northern Sweden in the middle of winter with a person I barely knew in order to help him and his business. I must have been mad!
That meeting allowed me to trial being a Medical Device Consultant while holding down a full-time job. I removed the kinks from my services and learnt more about my capabilities than ever before. It also boosted my confidence and let me know that the industry needed people like me to help them improve. I love solving problems and I’m very practical in my approaches so this was a perfect fit for me.
Almost two years later, I was at a cross roads. My full-time job had lost it’s allure and I was very unhappy. That’s where Mike Ryan – Founding Member of Irrus Investments and his wonderful wife Ann came in. They invited me to their home for a meal and over dinner, Ann, Mike and Ron convinced me that I should go full-time as a consultant. I was scared. I had just spent a lot of money doing up my house in Dublin after returning from 5 years in the West. Mike kindly offered to send my services prospectus to his huge and influential network to get the ball rolling.
I went to a friend’s birthday party a few days later and told my friend Leonie Colgan – Project & Ops Manager at Vhi Swiftcare that I was going out on my own as a consultant. She knew immediately of someone who would like to talk to me. Her contact was looking for someone with Quality System expertise who could work under pressure. Leonie’s contact was, Sinead O’Connor (not the singer) but the wonderful CEO of St. Francis Private Hospital in Mullingar. We had a phone call, and within days I had begun a 3 day week beavering away to get ready for an upcoming Quality System audit by CHKS.
I continued to work for Sedana Medical as their QA/RA Consultant. RCSI called looking for some advice on clinical studies for medical devices. I began working for Paola Della Porta – Associate Director of Research and her team on an amazing project. Paola told UCC about me. So Nora Geary – Corporate Secretary and Audrey Huggard – Head of Legal Services from UCC called. This led to work at Tyndall in Cork. RCSI recommended me to a company called Cosmo Technologies Ltd in Dublin. Their Director – Richard Jones called and I became their QA Consultant and had the pleasure of seeing them launch their Eleview product into global markets. When we started, the device was still in design. Now they have MDSAP accreditation and are enjoying global sales.
Next up, Bridget McDonnell – Principle Quality Specialist at Boston Scientific called. Bridget had gotten my name from Cindy Mols-Duisings – VP of RA, QA, Commercial Regions and Supply Chain. I was so proud that Cindy remembered me and my work with her team in Kerkrade. I’ve worked on many exciting and challenging projects since that phone call (almost four years ago) with Bridget.
And finally, through my friend Norman Stevenson, Senior Design Consultant – I was connected with Eugene Canavan – Medical Device Director and David Fleming – Medical Device Designer and Quality Manager at Design Partners and after a good chat and nice lunch in Avoca, I became the Design Partners Quality and Regulatory Consultant.
Who knew that that first cuppa tea with Ron Farrell could have led to all this. I’m so grateful to each person and every person who I have met along this 7 year journey. So many people took a chance on me. I enjoy every day of my work and feel very honoured to be part of an industry that drives forward innovation and is focused on improving patient lives and clinical outcomes. Here’s to another 7 years (and more) of success ahead.