Spotlight on Great Comebacks®
I can’t believe another WOCN Conference has come and gone! This year, the annual conference of Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses was held in San Antonio, Texas. Downtown San Antonio is built up and around the San Antonio River in an area called the Riverwalk. It’s a labyrinth of walkways, bridges and corridors snaking their way through the city, bustling with people and filled with shops and restaurants.
Saturday night brought the Great Comebacks® Awards dinner, sponsored by ConvaTec. This was actually my first time attending, and after a short walk through downtown, I arrived at the Majestic Theater—an absolutely breathtaking venue that was built in 1929 and recently restored. As I stepped inside from the heat of the San Antonio sidewalk, I was transported to a cool evening in the Spanish Mediterranean; the architecture and detail of the Majestic are truly something I won’t soon forget.
For dinner, we were seated at tables that were actually on the stage and over the orchestra pit of the theater; a very fun place to have dinner! The meal was delicious, then the evening’s program began.
First, we were introduced to four regional winners from across the United States. As I listened to each story, I was inspired by the common thread; it was something all of us as ostomates have faced and can understand. These people had taken something negative and turned it around to create their own Great Comeback. While ostomy surgery can be a major detour from our life’s path, these people showed that we all have the ability to turn it around!
The Great Comebacks® dinner is also about thanking the wonderful nurses who have dedicated their lives to help us create our own Great Comebacks. As Great Comebacks® founder Rolf Benirschke said during his comments, ostomy nurses see us at our worst and somehow still manage to teach us, comfort us and help us on our way back to living our lives in our new reality.
The love, emotion, gratitude and positive energy in that room was overwhelming and is what I will truly remember most about the evening. I can’t wait until next year!