In September 2015, OxiMedical attended the 2015 Hawaii COPD Conference (the Hawaii COPD Coalition, directed by Valerie Chang, hosts this annual event) where our owner, Larry Pellerito was a keynote speaker. It truly is a small world, and one month later we were able to assist a conference attendee when his medical needs brought him to Phoenix, AZ, home of our flagship oxygen concentrator showroom and service center. It was a pleasure to receive his story and with permission, we are delighted to share it with you.
I am a thirty-two year throat cancer survivor. I had three occurrences with three surgeries, the last one in 1988 followed by nine weeks of radiation. Because my epiglottis was removed during the first surgery, I began aspirating food into my lungs. Over time it caused me to develop bronchiectasis, causing several pneumonia episodes requiring hospitalization and recurring fevers with infection requiring antibiotics. Over the years many side effects developed as a result of radiation damage. They include loss of use of left arm due to nerve damage, sleep apnea requiring use of a CPAP machine to sleep, baroreceptor damage causing very low blood pressure, left diaphragm stopped functioning, loss of ability to swallow requiring a PEG tube to feed myself through the stomach, narrowing of the airway requiring supplemental oxygen, loss of use of voice enabling only a whisper. And most recently the airway became so restricted even with oxygen that a tracheostomy was performed on October 29, 2015.
Which brings me to the 2015 Hawaii COPD Conference held in September at the Queens Conference Center. The third Wednesday of every month I’ve been attending the Queens Head & Neck Cancer Support which is also held at the Queens Conference Center. In August I was sitting in the lobby “eating my lunch” and Valerie Chang, Executive Director of HICOPD, just happened to sit down next to me, and we started talking. For the first time I heard about HICOPD and Valerie encouraged me to attend the conference on September 12th. Little did I know then how fortuitous that conversation would turn out to be!
I must say I was impressed with the conference and the presenters. I learned things about COPD I didn’t know, found out there is a Pulmonary Rehab Center in Honolulu, and met Larry [Pellerito], owner of [OxiMedical], who sells oxygen concentrators (portable & for home) and all related accessories. Larry was one of the presenters and talked about the latest concentrators on the market and how to acquire them. I spent a little time with Larry at his booth and talked about portable oxygen concentrators. I had been using an Inogen G3 on pulse mode which was okay except my breathing had become much more strained. Larry is based in Phoenix, Arizona. I took a brochure and his card. He was very easy to talk to and definitely knew everything there was to know about oxygen concentrators. I remember leaving the conference glad that I had attended.
Little did I know just how glad I would be!
Every October my wife and I travel to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. I have been a patient of Mayo Clinic since 1984 where all the surgeries, radiation and all follow up appointments were done. We consider Mayo Clinic our go to place for all our medical issues. In our opinion they are the best at attending fully to a patient’s needs. Unless something urgent happens, we go once a year for annual checkups. This year my breathing difficulties had gotten severe making it difficult to speak or do anything physical. During the check up my ENT doc saw my difficulty and suggested I have a tracheostomy done. It made sense to me as I needed relief. Trachs usually require a 3-5 day hospital stay and several weeks of recovery at home. Wouldn’t you know I got pneumonia in the hospital and ended up spending twelve days. Mayo provides a discharge staff person who makes sure you leave with the proper equipment and supplies to deal adequately with your new trach.
I needed three primary pieces of equipment – a continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator (my Inogen was pulse only and trach patients are only able to breathe through the trach opening), a portable suction machine to suction saliva from the mouth & mucous from the trachea), and a humidifier machine which helps keep everything moist. At first Mayo tried to arrange for a Honolulu medical equipment company to provide the three pieces of equipment since they would be also providing other trach supplies I’d need. After several days I was told no Honolulu company would do it. Now imagine you are lying in a hospital bed, doc is ready to discharge you, but won’t okay a discharge until they know you have equipment you need. I was told all this on a Friday and looking at having to stay in the hospital until Monday and maybe beyond. As y’all know hospitals are no fun and the sooner one can leave, the better.
So while I’m laying there I remembered meeting Larry [Pellerito], owner of [OxiMedical], at the Hawaii COPD Conference the month before. At first I couldn’t remember his name, so I googled oxygen concentrator companies in Phoenix. I called and left a message for him to call me. Within the hour he called me and told me he would come to the hospital Saturday morning, which he did. I told him what equipment I needed to leave the hospital. He said he could supply all three for a weekly rental and then we could figure out a more permanent solution. I was so relieved! Sunday morning he delivered all three machines. He was like having an angel appear in the desert. Monday morning I left the hospital. Yea!
A week later he came to my hotel room and we talked about long term options. I learned there are only a handful of portable oxygen concentrators that do continuous flow oxygen. I chose the Sequal Equinox which offered the longest battery time. It is a bit heavy at 18 lbs. but it comes with a handy roller stand. Larry also told me about the [DeVilbiss] Portable Suction Machine that works on battery, so it’s good for the plane too. It’s light at 3 lbs and has its own little case. Larry delivered these items to me and took all the rented equipment back. That’s the kind of guy Larry is. I am most impressed that the owner of [OxiMedical] with three stores in the Phoenix area as well as Denver & Atlanta, would take the time with his busy schedule to do all he did for me. We sure could use an [OxiMedical] store in Honolulu. Until we do I strongly urge you to contact [OxiMedical] in Phoenix for your oxygen equipment needs. Larry offers a 10 day money back guarantee as well as a 30 day oxygen satisfaction guarantee.
Valerie, thank you for introducing yourself to me and thank you for all the work you do on behalf of COPD patients in Hawaii. I am so grateful to you and Larry for your kindness and caring. I am happy to report that as a new trach patient I am breathing so much better. Life is a breath of fresh air!
A big thank you to Larry who is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. Your company is a pleasure to contact every time! Thank you!
– December 16, 2013, S.H., MD
I have to say that OxiMedical is a godsend. My journey for my POC started on 10/3/13.
For three weeks I struggled with finding someone that would sell or rent one to me on insurance. Those that had them would not rent them. The POCs were only for their oxygen tank customers when they were traveling. I did an internet search for the umpteenth time and found OxiMedical. I called after 7 p.m. and Larry answered. We talked for easily 30 minutes or more about POCs and my needs. He told me to have my insurance company get in contact with the company. They worked with my insurance to get my POC purchased.
Today is 11/15/13. It is now in my hot little hands. Larry even had them throw in an oximeter for me, since I had no way to measure my O2 levels on a daily/hourly/several hourly basis.
Larry recommended the Inogen One G3, as it would suit my needs. It is charging now, I tried it out for about 60 seconds to see what it was going to be like. These guys are there 24×7 if you have a problem and need help. I called him after 8 p.m to say “I GOT IT!” and he told me if I had any questions or problems not to hesitate to call.
You don’t find this level of customer service at very many places anymore. I am so happy that I found OxiMedical. I would do business with them again in a heart beat!
– November 15, 2013, D.B., AZ
I want to thank you for your superb service! I purchased an iGo from you recently and it is everything Leo told me it would be: very dependable, quiet, etc. Also, I’ve called a few times with questions and Leo has always answered them with eloquence. We are so pleased with your company and will of course, be repeat customers for any future needs. My husband and I will recommend you to anyone who needs respiratory equipment. Thanks for everything!
– Sept. 5, 2013, J.B., NM
Worth your weight in Gold. Today, I met someone who represents your Company like very few do, today. His first name is Leo. He worked a problem for me and did not stop until it was solved. In fact he was doing it for my wife who uses the Inogen One-G2. Thank you for having a person in your company who really cares about his customers. He has made a Million dollars worth of good will for your company without being asked. As a military retiree I know the kind of person he is and thank him from the bottom of my heart. I will always do business with you because of Leo-Tech Services.”
-May 8, 2013, M.H.M, Lt.Colonel (USAF,Ret.), TX
I want to thank you personally for the professional and personable service you gave to my sister, Joni S, during the process of her purchasing the INOGEN ONE G3.
It took her a while and some “hands on” experience to decide which concentrator version she needed. You provided her with precisely the info she needed, and patiently guided her to the best choice.
If I were your boss, I would give you an immediate raise based on your extraordinary people skills and value to your company.
Shortly after Jon received the INOGEN ONE G3, and before she could use it even once, her condition rapidly declined. She is within, if not hours, of succumbing to her cancer.
So I am returning the device to you unused. I understand there is a 20% stocking fee. Please apply the credit to the credit card Joni used to purchase the device.
– Richard S., July 23, 2013
Many thanks for having suggested that in a local computer store we could find a simple 120>18 volt power-supply cord for our portable oxygen concentrator, which we really needed today or tomorrow at the latest.
The Staples store nearby had one. It works perfectly, and the relief shown by my wife is tremendous.
We understand that you are reluctant to accept anything for your wise advice, but both my wife and I insist on sending you this small token as a thank-you for your thoughtfulness and your understanding.
Your company is most fortunate to have you associated with them, as nowadays really helpful people such as you seem to be scarce.
Again, we are most appreciative.
– Dody and Pete N., July 22, 2013
Thank you Ashley, you are very kind.
We are very please with the customer service that the company offers.
Thank you for all your help and kindness.
– Ilse M., May 8, 2013
Worth your weight in Gold. Today, I met someone who represents your Company like very few do.
His first name is Leo. He worked a problem for me and did not stop until it was solved. In fact he was doing it for my wife who uses the INOGEN ONE G2.
Thank you for having a person in your company who really cares about his customers.
He has made a million dollars worth of good will for your company without being asked. As a military retiree I know the kind of person he is and thanked him from the bottom of my heart.
I will always do business with you because of Teo in Tech Services.
– Miguel H.M., Lt. Colonel (USAF, Ret.), May 8, 2013
These folks are to be commended for the way they do business and treat their customers. I ordered what I thought would be the best portable concentrator for me.
After several days of using it I found that it just would not keep up with my needs when walking hard, I called and they arranged to send out a different unit even before I sent the old unit back.
Sure there was a restocking fee but they made the trade so simple and easy.
These people treat their customers the way they should.
I will certainly keep doing business with them. Leo and Shelli are awesome to do business with.
– Paul R., May 1, 2013