My sister, Wendy Swan, saw the passion I had for taking The Swan Lobe idea all the way, so in 2007, we both decided to work together & pull both our strengths to build our brand & start patenting The Swan Lobe.
Wendy, having worked in the fashion industry & being an amazing artist, has a great eye for fashion & imagery.
She would never write about herself that way, so you can tell that it’s me Georgie that’s writing this, but every word is true & unbiased.
She freelanced for agents that have sold her designs to some of the worlds largest stores, brands & designers. She has designs in publications such as Vogue, Elle & other top magazines, & that, along with supermodels & celebrities alike wearing her embroideries/designs over the years, makes her the perfect business partner both creatively & professionally.
Wendy had been in pain, but able to pursue her dreams since two knee operations went wrong at the age of twelve.
Later in life, as she grew into her teens, her knees continued to cause her great pain, but she did everything to overcome this & overcome the broken bones the operation had left her with, continuing on to follow her dreams & ambitions.
From the age of twelve, well into her thirties, she spent life on crutches, literally walking on broken legs. The operation when she was twelve, whilst removing her cartilages, damaged the femur, tibia & patella in both legs.
Having not let any of her trails hold her back, she moved to New York City, in the United States of America, having been headhunted to freelance for worldwide, famous brands.
I had the privilege of visiting my sister in New York & whilst staying at her apartment in Brooklyn, I remember looking down the street, being able to see the Statue of Liberty, being immersed in the history of the Big Apple & feeling so happy for my sister, living her dream.
Tragedy Struck Again
Wendy returned to The United Kingdom for treatment on her knees, she had been receiving treatment ever since the operation that caused her all this pain. The doctors knew; to start to deal with the issues in both knees more directly, they would have to prepare her for two knee replacements, but before they could, they had to start to cut away the broken bones.
I personally can remember it being said by a doctor, about my sisters knees that, from the X-rays, they didn’t know how she was able to walk. Both the bottom of the femur & top of the tibia on both legs were so damaged that, the broken bones looked like two paint brushes meeting. Those are the words the doctor use to described the condition of my sister’s legs & the amount of damage left after the operation. I can’t even imagine the pain she had had to endure all throughout her teenage life, well into her 20’s & 30’s.
They took my sister into theatre, performing a high tibial osteotomy operation on her right leg to start prep work for a knee replacement, that surgery along with the years of damage from the initial surgery, aged 12, caused a horrific condition called chronic regional pain syndrome – type 2, CRPS is its abbreviated title. This terrible syndrome spread from her leg, all over her body into full body pain leaving her disabled & now having to be cared for by my mother 24/7 as Wendy is unable to have, what we consider, a normal life. We can’t even hug her when she cries, as her condition & the pain means she can not be touched at all due to the pain even in her skin.
As her brother, its beyond heartbreaking, so I can only imagine how my parents feel seeing their daughter go through, each day, such a life disabling, horrifically painful condition.
Wendy has now been house bound for 17 years, I’m sure when reading this she will cry at the details being written for all the world to see, but it is so important, not only to show her character & the strength that she has that enables her to endure, but in hopes that somewhere out there, someone may be reading this that may be able to help her, or someone may know someone that studies CRPS &/or pain related conditions & that they may be able to help my sister.
Even with having a house bound life, she’s been able to help form The Swan Lobe Limited &, like everyone else, deserves a life without pain & the chance to rid her body of this horrific pain condition.
I want my sister to be free to enjoy the world again, gain back her freedom & her independence. So, please, any doctors, researchers, biomedical engineers, anyone, if there is anything you can do to help, or anyone you know that may, please contact us.
Ridding Wendy of CRPS would also enable surgeons to repair her knees. Her story is a vast one, a story I can not fit into one blog about our product, but its a story that should & needs to be told because she is my hero & the reason I kept fighting for better surgeons to work on my spine to get me walking again. I’ve never said this to my sister, I guess its the stiff upper lip British mentally lol but, she is the strongest, most humble and determined person I know & with what she deals with on a day to day basis & still never complains, never moans, always thinks of others, I could not wish for a better sister & I have three of the best sisters a brother could ever wish for.
Enough of the mushy stuff
I’m sure, even though she never complains, my sisters biggest wish is to not only seek a cure for her to gain her freedom from pain, but to help others with similar conditions. I’m pretty sure its the way we’ve been brought up by our parents Mark & Sandra Swan, that makes us both, Wendy, our other siblings & I, so driven to help others.
I know Wendy wants to be a more active part of The Swan Lobe Limited, going to meetings, trade shows, events & I know in my heart, one day we will find someone to help her & she’ll get her wish.
The Swan Lobe Limited wouldn’t have been born without Wendy, from an idea I had when I was 12 flashing forward to today, The 25th April 2015, I’m so thankful to my sister for working so hard & being my partner in this amazing new business world we are immersed in together.