Justin Hansen , nicknamed “The Gutless Kayaker”, is proudly supported by CME Medical in a brand new world record attempt for the longest trip spent living solely on artificial nutrition. Justin will be relying on the CME Medical Bodyguard 323TM Ambulatory Infusion Pump for the delivery of Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) for 32 days non-stop as he undertakes a 420-mile kayaking trip to raise money for bowel cancer research.
This sort of endurance event would challenge most people, but for Justin, his medical condition makes it even more daunting as he needs to organise more than 192 litres of IV nutrition and 2,000 items of healthcare equipment just to keep him alive on the trip.
Justin has virtually no bowel and is fed through a tube as he suffers from both Crohn’s disease and short bowel syndrome and has spent the past seven years in and out of hospital recovering from countless operations, including open heart surgery after suffering an infection. Despite all of this, Justin, aged 52, is now planning to set a new world record for the longest duration trip while surviving on artificial nutrition as he will be relying on his nutrition pump and IV food for the whole 32 days. The aim is to raise more than £20,000 for St Mark’s Hospital Charitable Foundation which will help fund further research into conditions similar to Justin’s, which is a cause very close to his heart.
Justin said: “We will be starting out on Saturday 7th September, in Skipton, North Yorkshire, and will kayak the 420 miles down the canals, finishing on Tuesday 8th October in Bristol. I’ve always enjoyed outdoor physical activities and have had a lifelong fascination with water so kayaking is something that ticks all the boxes for me. Also, with my medical condition now I need to be connected to my life support system if I exercise for long periods of time and kayaking is one of the few sports I am still able to do while connected.”
“I have been using the CME Medical Bodyguard 323TM Ambulatory Infusion Pump for TPN for around 4-5 years because it is small and easy to carry and use. It has a lot of extra features and is reliable. It is also quiet – I trialled another manufacturer’s pump which sounded like a broken lawnmower and I wasn’t able to sleep! I also like the larger sized battery, as it easily lasts for 12 hours until my next bag and battery change.”
This latest trip is taking Justin eight months to plan, including the logistics for getting 18 litres of refrigerated IV nutrition delivered along the length of the waterways, every three days of the trip. He is also organising all the usual activities related to such a trip including getting fit, arranging accommodation, equipment and supplies for the support crew and contact sponsors and donors, with the help of his sister, Victoria.
Justin said: “My consultant gastroenterologist and many other professional colleagues are not aware of anyone, anywhere, ever having attempted a trip of this nature and duration while surviving on artificial nutrition, thus we will be claiming the world record! This is an exciting prospect, however I would love a challenger to appear. I will consider this event a success if it inspires someone else on artificial nutrition, or with a chronic disability, to reassess what they can achieve, and then go and do it.”
Dr Simon Gabe, Consultant Gastroenterologist, St Mark’s Hospital, said: “It is people like Justin who can show other patients that life is still possible and dreams are still possible despite intestinal failure. This is something that is truly inconceivable for a patient at the beginning of the road, when they are in a hospital bed coming to St Mark’s with bags on their abdomen, in pain, losing weight and having repeated infections. Justin is an inspiration to us all and is the reason I do the job that I do.”
Justin said: “This trip is my way of saying thank you to everyone who has helped me get well over these last few years and to raise more funds for the amazing research carried out at St Mark’s Hospital. I know of a lot of really encouraging ongoing and planned research, but it needs to be paid for. On this trip, therefore, we are raising funds for the research into early detection and treatment of bowel cancer carried out at St Mark’s Hospital Charitable Foundation.”
“Supporting Justin’s challenge is one of the many ways that CME Medical like to demonstrate our commitment to worthy charitable causes, as well as individuals like Justin who are an inspiration to so many other people with life-altering conditions. We wish him very good luck in his challenge.” John Carrington – Managing Director
Read the full press release here.
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