Mary Henley-Collopy is a 57 year old woman living with the effects of Thalidomide, resulting in quadruple shortened limbs (from birth). In addition, Mary has moderate/severe obstructive sleep apnea first diagnosed over 25 years ago. Mary has been sleep-deprived for over 25 years due to her inability to independently use a CPAP mask. Numerous commercially available options have been explored by Mary, her GP; specialist sleep clinics and physicians. The first was a mandibular advancement splint (MAS) - a dental appliance to move the jaw forward during sleep. This greatly impacted upon Mary’s gums to the point of weakening her teeth. Mary was forced to cease its use quite rapidly, as her teeth are vitally important to all areas of her activities of daily living - eg: bathing, dressing, reaching etc. Mary simply could not compromise on so many other areas of her life.
The most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) used during sleep. The positive pressure exerted by the machine prevents Mary’s airways from obstructing. Mary has had one mildly successful ‘helmet-style’ CPAP mask which has now deteriorated having become obsolete 20 years ago. As a result, pressure escapes from her nose whilst sleeping. Mary has no ‘reach’ beyond her right ear and no reach on her left side due to her fore-shortened upper limbs. Mary is unable to place the headstraps of any standard commercially available mask onto her head. Mary would like to have her sleep restored to regain strength from the overwhelming and relentless fatigue she experiences on a daily basis.
Team Mary have created a weighted system to enable the application of a CPAP mask regularly and independently. When Mary engages the button, with her foot, the storage box opens and when she places her head on the box the swinging arms raise up to fit and secure the mask around Mary's head. The proposed storage box would be fitted with UV light which would clean the mask when the box is closed.