On November 29th, 1980, at the age of 18, inventor Phil Rondeau was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Following this diagnosis and over the next 17 years, Phil underwent eight bowel resections surgeries and many hospitalizations. Upon another flare up of the Crohn's Disease in the summer of 1997, the doctors recommended that he have an ileostomy and in late September of 1997 Phil underwent the surgery. Upon his release from the hospital, he returned home and from the first day home began to realize that he found the emptying of the pouch to be disagreeable and not efficient. The fecal matter that was left in the pouch left him with an unclean feeling.
The Search for a Device
As a result of this unclean feeling, he proceeded to call a number of drug and medical supply stores looking to find a device that would completely drain the pouch. With each conversation he received the same negative response, "No, I've never heard of anything like that" and “There is nothing available that performs that function”. Not being one to give up easily, he went to the public library and checked all the back issues of ostomy magazines and still came up with nothing to perform the task at hand.
If You Can't Find It, Make It
On his return home from the library and not being able to find such an aide, Phil conceived what such a device would look like and how it could and would work if it did exist. With this thought in his head, he stopped at his local hardware store and purchased the materials he felt would be required for his device. After just 20 minutes in his garage, he emerged with a functioning device. A device he continued to use for four years
Phil felt that the efficiency of this device during the time he had his ostomy, 1997 to 2001, allowed him to return to work, as the reduced time to care for the emptying process kept him on the job and not in the washroom.
See The Phoenix (Dec-2011) feature article, "The Future of Ostomy Care", By Kevin A. Barnes discussing the One Pass Ostomy Draining Device (OPODD)