By Lorraine Alikhanizadeh
My dad Ernie battled ulcerative colitis for nearly 30 years and finally had ostomy surgery in 2004. An ileostomy left him physically better, but mentally and emotionally 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 looking for solutions to help him. The main issue he experienced was a feeling of pulling on his stoma as the ostomy pouch filled. His underwear would lie across the stoma area which was uncomfortable, and served as a constant reminder of his low self-confidence with body image.
My husband, Nozar and I established a clothing business in 1998.
Comfizz was a fashion garment producer that moved into specialized sportswear in 2002. We provided high performance garments which were breathable and fit like a second skin to give ultra-comfort and freedom of movement for athletes. We used our expertise to design an undergarment which addressed most of the issues my dad was having. The result was a high waist two-way stretch boxer short that sat well above his stoma site. The underwear covered and supported the pouch, as well as improving the contours of his body shape.
After trying the new boxer short, Ernie came to visit us with a huge smile on his face! He wasn’t holding or supporting his pouch as he often would, and for the first time since his ostomy surgery he experienced moments where he actually forgot he even had a stoma. From that day, I could see me dad coming back to life.
The Comfizz symbol reflects our company roots.
Whenever you see this symbol be reassured it's a Comfizz original garment created with passion, commitment and a genuine understanding of the needs of an ostomate. Our slogan, “Don't feel different ... FEEL CONFIDENT” is at the very core of what we believe in producing ostomy garments.
Over the past 12 years we’ve developed a range of ostomy products. We’ve won prestigious awards for our innovative solutions from British Healthcare Trading Association (BHTA) and Stomawise, and continually work on improvements.
Our family has gone through a lot over the years.
My youngest son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2011 and had bowel surgery too. I nearly gave it all up, I was so angry. Thankfully with time I came to realize that the pain and suffering Inflammatory Bowel Disease causes was an important factor in leading me to create Comfizz clothing for ostomates.
When I was a youngster I knew that I wanted to do something that impacted lives for the better. I wasn’t sure how things would unfold; I thought perhaps I would be a coach or a nutritionist. Never did I imagine that my family would build a company that helps thousands of ostomates around the world live a better quality of life. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s absolutely true that every cloud has a silver lining... we just need to look for it.