Having a stoma can be challenging for patients and can cause angst and worry as well as some other added complications. Something that Lorraine Alikhanizadeh knows only too well after her own father, Ernie, had to have bowel surgery which resulted in Ernie having to have a stoma.
“My dad Ernie battled ulcerative colitis for nearly 30 years and finally had surgery in 2004. Having the stoma left him physically better, but emotionally and mentally he was broken. He went from being a proud, outgoing and confident man, to someone who was depressed, quiet and self-conscious. He didn’t want to leave the house.
This wasn’t the father I knew and I wanted the old Ernie back, so I started to look for solutions to help him. His main problem was that the pouch that he had fitted to his stoma was always in an uncomfortable position and served as a constant reminder of his low self-confidence with body image”.
At the time Lorraine and her husband Nozar, were running a business that was a fashion garment producer that moved into specialist sportswear in 2002. “We used our sports garments expertise to design an undergarment which addressed most of the issues my dad was having.
Lorraine and Nozar
Holding Award, Certificate and a framed article from the Entrepreneur Circle monthly magazine
Entrepreneur of the month November 2016 Award
The result was a high-waist boxer short that supported the pouch and provided comfort as well as improving the contours of his body. From that day my dad started smiling again and I could see him coming back to life. That’s when we knew we were on to something”.
At the same time that Lorraine was feeling elated at how she had helped her dad she had a different issue to contend with. Lorraine and her husband, Nozar, were struggling on a personal level financially. But, despite the considerable daily struggle, they found themselves in, they pushed on with sheer determination to succeed as they believed so much in their products and the help they could provide.
Through hard work, long days and nights and sheer determination Lorraine and Nozar have built an innovative business. Over the past 12 years, they have developed a range of ostomy products for patients and have even won prestigious awards from the British Healthcare Trading Association and Stomawise for their innovative solutions.
“Also another really massive benefit to our garments is that they have been proven to really help prevent hernias in stoma patients which is now our main focus as a benefit”.
The business has gone from strength to strength and is based on a passion and motivation to succeed and help people like Ernie.
“My youngest son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2011 and had to have bowel surgery. I was so angry and I nearly gave it all up.
Thankfully, though, with time I realised how many people I was helping, people like my dad and my own son and it spurred me on even more”. Lorraine & Nozar also managed the mammoth task of becoming a trusted supplier to the NHS (not an easy task!) where their products are acquired by patients through a free prescription.
Pants to Hernias
Lorraine and her team have just completed their biggest ever National exhibition with a big campaign named “Pants to Hernias”. “It was a little daunting, to say the least, who were we to think we could launch such a BIG campaign? All the other exhibitors were monster corporate stands whilst ours was a very modest 3m X 3m self-made design.
Our target was to sign 20 nurses up for the campaign. We got 80!
We were genuine and passionate about our aim, with a clear message and I think we nailed it. We focused on one thing, our campaign and asked for just one thing, for them to sign up so we can get as many new patients coming out of hospital with a stoma as protected as they can be from developing a hernia.
Our main goal is to set the industry standards in stoma support wear across the world as we genuinely care about our customer’s quality of life after surgery.
“When I was young I knew I wanted to do something that impacted lives for the better. Never did I imagine that my family would build a company that helps thousands of people all over the world lead a better life”.
Stomawise Golden Owl Awards 2015
Supportive text header description
High Profile Healthcare Award
INDEPENDENT LIVING DESIGN AWARD
Support wear company Comfizz Ltd is celebrating after picking up a prestigious award at the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) annual awards dinner, held at the Tower Hotel in London 1st Dec 2011. The BHTA represents over 450 company members, many of which are the largest and most influential in the healthcare industry.
The evening was compared by Angela Rippon with sports presenter Garry Richardson also playing a part in proceedings. The award, presented to Comfizz was for The Independent Living Design Award.
Over 250 of the leading figures in the healthcare industry attended the event, which saw awards being presented in recognition of outstanding product design, customer service and team performance Comfizz entry was for their stoma support wear range, levels 1, 2 & 3, which includes junior products.
Ray Hodgkinson, Director General of the BHTA, congratulated the team at Comfizz and commented that the award was richly deserved. “The awards we present each year are given only after a rigorous process involving a panel of judges and the winners represent excellence in what is an important and growing marketplace. This is one of the fastest growing and most important market sectors and one in which excellence in product design and customer service really does mean a great deal to the customers, many of whom rely on our member companies to maintain their independence.”
Lorraine & Nozar, company owners, added: “Being presented with the award, particularly in front of so many members of the industry, was a real achievement and reflects the hard work by everyone throughout the company. The BHTA is a very well known trade association, involved at the heart of the marketplace in which we do business and so to be recognised in this way will help us greatly in the future and will no doubt raise our profile a good deal, both to the professionals who deal with us and the customers who use our products. We are passionate about helping people with a stoma overcome some of their difficulties and are planning to expand the range even further next year to meet the needs of those with a hernia, post surgical wounds and continence issues. It might not be a glamorous field of business but it is extremely rewarding to see the difference our products can make to peoples lives”
COmfizz Support belt
voted ‘Most Innovate Product’ by
Over the past 3 months the readers of Stomawise have been voting for their favourites in the following categories:
Most Innovative Product
Best DAC’s Delivery Company
Best Support Organisation/Blog
Voting ended on 1st November 2011 and 2,431 votes were cast.
The winner of the “Most Innovative Product” with 38% of the votes is Comfizz for their Support Belt.
The winner of the “Best DAC’s Delivery Company” with 35.5% of the votes is Fittleworth.
The winner of the “Best Support Organisation/Blog” with 42% of the votes is Ostomy Lifestyle.
Here are a few pages from our ever growing blog section.
Information that we collect from you
When you order products on www.comfizz.com you may be asked to provide certain information about yourself including your name, contact details and credit or debit card information. We may also collect information about your usage of our website as well as information about you from e-mails or letters you send to us.
Use of your information
Your information will enable us to provide you with access to all parts of our website and to supply the goods you have requested. It will also enable us to bill you and to contact you where necessary concerning your orders. We will also use and analyze the information we collect so that we can administer, support, improve and develop our business.
We may use your information to contact you for your opinion on our Products and services and to notify you about important changes or developments to the website or our services. Where you have consented, we might also use your information to let you know by email about other products which we offer which may be of interest to you. If you change your mind about being contacted in the future, please let us know.
Disclosure of your information
The information you provide to us may be accessed only by third parties such as couriers and banks, who act for us for the purposes set out in this policy or for other purposes approved by you. If you submit a prescription request this with be shared with your DAC (dispensing appliance contractor) in order for the order to be dispensed. If you don’t use a DAC you will be contacted to gain your permission to forward your order onto a dispensing agent who can complete your prescription request with us. Those parties process information, fulfil and deliver orders, process credit card payments and provide support services on our behalf.
If our business enters into a joint venture with or is sold to or merged with another business entity, your information may be disclosed to our new business partners or owners. However, we will always take steps to ensure that your information is used by third parties in accordance with this policy. Unless required to do so by law, we will not otherwise share, sell or distribute any of the information you provide to us without your consent.
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Security and data retention
We employ security measures to protect your information from access by unauthorized persons and against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage. We will retain your information for a reasonable period or as long as the law requires.
In the process of buying products at Comfizz website, personal and financial information is collected so we can provide you with the service that you want. Financial information collected in the transaction process including credit card information is handled on secure servers and is not held by Comfizz at any stage.