As a professional Critical Care Nurse for many years, I spent most of my career as a patient advocate, saving many lives, lifting the spirits of the sick and nurturing patients back to health.
Nowhere in the hospital is support needed at the highest level than in the critical care environment, where the most fragile and vulnerable of patients reside. I found the work load to be very challenging and extremely rewarding.
This also is the setting where nurses have the highest back fatigue and musculoskeletal injury. According to surveys by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nursing employees every year, severe enough that they must miss work.
In 2015 I set out to change the world of nursing and support the backs of healthcare workers, starting with the female sector as they reported the highest injury rate in our organization
This change the world attitude soon became a personal mantra to save myself first. May 23, 2015, on my way to Los Angeles to finalize my project, I was hospitalized after a mentally ill man ambushed me from behind and beat me several times over the head with a hammer in an attempt to kill me.
As a nurse I never thought I would ever be on the other side of the clip board. I am truly a survivor and this assault changed my life forever. I share this experience as I use it to help other women so they will not be afraid to stand tall and stand up for themselves
I soon learned how women are treated by the police, how a defense attorney can blame a woman for being assaulted, how a civil defense attorney and an insurance company can blame a victim of violence as faking their injuries. I learned that healing from a traumatic brain injury is a long process and that PTSD is REAL. But most importantly I learned that time heals all wounds, and to never give up.
I continue to make garments that physically support the backs of women, but it has become equally important to become an advocate of victims of violence, helping women stand strong all around the world.
Globally, one out of three women will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, with rates of abuse reaching 70% in some countries (USAID). Women who are abused by their partners are less likely to earn a living and less able to care for their children. Children who witness violence are significantly more at risk for health problems, anxiety disorders, poor school performance and violent behavior (USAID).
The company name Xirvana was created to define the Journey one takes to transform the self and develop the skills and courage to stand strong, live in peace and share your experience so others can benefit from your gifts, and your support.
It is truly my belief that the empowerment of women through support and education is a first step in addressing this public health issue for equality and political change across the globe.
"The true power of a woman becomes supercharged when she has the courage to stand strong in her position and align her spine with her heart." Monee' Gagliardo, RN, CEO Xirvana Brands, Inc.