• Courtney Farr

Startup Life: A Nurse's Journey up a Mountain

Yesterday I was on a mountaintop in Alaska. I hiked to a waterfall with my fiancé Brian and we looked upward past the waterfall. We saw a path that led up through the trees. We looked at each other and smiled. "Lets see where this road leads us," he says. We climbed through brush, around trees and up rocks until we passed the forrest tree line. We broke through the tree line and saw sunshine and sky ahead after 5 hrs of hiking. When we cleared the trees we could see the top of the mountain. "Well, now that we're here we might as well go to the top of the mountain," we tell each other. So another hour of hiking takes us up a cliff side with jagged rocks. We climb on hands and knees as we navigate more difficult terrain. We had only packed a small purse with a bottle of water and two snack bars for a half mile waterfall hike. We hadn't expected to be on a 6 hr journey up a mountain. Two expert hikers pass us and look at us with puzzlement. They have hiking gear on with large backpacks laden with supplies. Did we somehow get lost? Well, not all journeys start with the plan to climb a mountain, but sometimes they end up there. We made it to the top of that mountain and then I sprawled out on the grassy top and had my first ever mountaintop zoom conference call with my prototype development team. I'm developing a 'Virtual stethoscope/Otoscope' which can save many lives and transform the way we provide medical care by allowing a complete 'virtual physical exam'. I've been on this journey now for going on 3 years. This journey, just like my journey up the mountain in Alaska started out small and has been getting larger and larger as the journey continues. If I had looked at the top of the mountaintop when I started the journey both in Alaska and with my startup I probably would have talked myself out of it. But once you're past the tree line and can see up ahead you get renewed motivation. Just like that mountaintop in Alaska I fear the path with my startup will continue to get steeper with each step. It's the development of a great team and a partner that encourages you to be the best that you can be that makes everything possible. This year during the Pandemic I was contacted by the FDA and was told that my 'virtual stethoscope/otoscope' would qualify for an emergency for pandemic use permit (a fast track through the FDA). The idea of millions of people using my 'virtual stethoscope/otoscope' is exciting and frightening at the same time. I remind myself that every journey starts with the first step and even a mountain can be climbed with the right people by your side.




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