Our life is as amazing as the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Every difficulty we confront in this journey will in the end turn us into the one and only BUTTERFLY.
Like every mother in the world, my best wish for my child is he can grow up healthily and happily. Yet, life is always full of the unexpected.
At the age of four, I found my son, Sean, had a difficulty rotating his right eye outward. The doctor diagnosed it as the Duane syndrome, a rare, congenital eye movement disorder. At that time, we had no choice but to let him undergo the surgery at such a young age. Although the problem could not be completely fixed, the surgery did improve the situation a little bit. Despite the imperfect eyes, he can still see this beautiful world!
However, at the age of five, Sean’s teacher found that he had some abnormal behaviors in the class and asked us to take him to see a child psychiatrist. After the test, Sean was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a type of autism. It was really painful for us to accept that such thing had happened to our son. But just about that time, we found that Sean had extraordinary talents for music. Although he had difficulties getting along with others, he was able to enjoy and focus on his interests. Having such talents for music, I let him take piano lessons ever since he was a kid, and now he plans to go to Austria to study music.
As other parents would also wish, we prayed that the problem with Sean’s eye and autism would be the only difficulties he had in life. Yet, one day he felt a serious pain in his lower back and we had to take him to the emergency room. Later it was discovered that he had a problem with his kidney and he would have to do an urgent surgery. Fortunately, the problem was discovered early and the surgery was very successful.
-THE BIRTH OF A BUTTERFLY TENS-
While Sean was recovering from his surgery, we found yet another problem with his fingers, which, for a future pianist, it was almost like being sentenced to death. I was so desperate when I noticed he could not fully open and stretch out his thumbs. Only God could know how such thing could happen to my son. Desperate and despaired as I was, I began to do some research on the Duane syndrome. And before long, I had some shocking discoveries. Some studies of DS had shown that there are other syndromes in association with DS, including malformations of the bones, upper limbs, ears, eyes, kidneys, and the nervous system. Except for the ears, Sean has all the malformations mentioned above. There is no way we can change his gene. And therefore, rehabilitation would be Sean’s only option.
Rehabilitation is not easy to do at home and it’s a long journey to go. The first challenge we encountered on the way of this journey was to persuade Sean to use TENS because he had a great fear of the electric stimulation. Hence, as I was developing TENS, Sean’s fear for the electric stimulation inspired me to design a TENS that he, and other children as well, would not be afraid to use. It is clear that rehabilitation can only be done, if Sean is willing to do it. Moreover, I was inspired by Sean's natural science class, in which he was crazy about observing the process of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. It made me thinking of combining TENS with the design of a butterfly. I figured that the process of the metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly is itself symbolic. It implies the transformation from the old self to a newer and better self. As a result, BUTTERFLY TENS was launched six months later, and Sean was the first person to try it. He loved the design and the idea behind it, and most importantly, he was not afraid of the stimulation anymore because it was no longer a scary, lifeless machine. Instead, it was a colorful and delicate device.
Rehabilitation is a long journey, and for many people, there is no way to escape it. Therefore, we are devoted wholeheartedly to making it easier to do at home and less intimidating for children and elders. My beloved son, Sean, is now doing it every day on his own, and seeing him doing rehabilitation willingly and happily makes me feel that I have helped him a little bit on his long journey. But I am fully aware that my son is not the only unfortunate kid. There are a lot more out there in this world. And I wish this device can help those families too. By using our device, I wish parents’ burdens can be a little lighter and children’s fears a little lesser. Most importantly, I wish, from now on, rehabilitation can be achieved at home a lot easier. For those of you who are in the same situation as I was, I just want to say that you and your children are not alone, and you all deserve to have a better quality life together. That is why we want to dedicate this little helper, with all our efforts, to all of you whose children have the same or similar issues. We wish you all have a happier life with your beloved ones!