Birmingham IA's 2023 Information Day took place on Saturday 20th May, and what a busy day it was! We were delighted to meet so many members who had come to hear a fantastic range of expert speakers on important aspects of health for ileostomists and pouch patients.
As always, we had the customary Birmingham IA raffle, run by Mark Barnes. This year we were fundraising to support the charity Get Your Belly Out.
The day began early with our busy Product Exhibition. We were lucky to be supported by reps from a number of different companies who came to show us the latest products available. At the same time, Miss Melissa Cunha supported the Internal Pouch workshop, where a combination of experienced pouch patients and a couple on the brink of surgery were able to seek advice and information.
During the morning session, we were treated to some very informative presentations: the first was by Pooja Dhir, of City Dietitians, who gave us sound medical advice about foods we should be aiming to eat on a regular basis.
Shelagh Bickerton followed with a fascinating presentation on Kidney health for Ileostomists and pouch patients. As an expert in the fields of both stoma care and kidney health, she warned us of the risks of kidney injury and provided guidance on what we can do to help ourselves, particularly with regard to dehydration, including when we should take ourselves to hospital.
Wendy Osborne provided us with an extremely informative talk on causes and personal risk factors for developing parastomal hernias and again, gave us a wealth of good advice on how to minimise our risks.
Our final speaker was Birmingham IA member, social media influencer and 2nd Black Dan Matt Timmins, who talked at length with his usual good humour about his journey as an ileostomist and his approach to life with a stoma.
The morning's session was rounded off with a lively Question and Answer session in which the audience posed challenging questions to our panel of expert speakers, chaired by Miss Melissa Cunha, colorectal consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
After a delicious buffet lunch provided by Oasis Café, Birmingham IA’s Business meeting was held in the afternoon, and this was followed by “Questions to the President’, during which Miss Cunha took further questions from the members.
We are extremely grateful to all of our expert speakers and the Product suppliers for giving up their time to make this day so successful. And as always, we thank our members for supporting this annual event.