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My Story

A few years ago I injured myself and I developed peritonitis. The result was an operation, intensive care and a colostomy bag.

On the first day in the hospital  with my colostomy bag, the nurse comes in and tells me, “I am going to  empty your colostomy bag for you.” She takes my colostomy bag, opens the  bottom and, using her hands and fingers, squeezes the bag “milking” the  contents into a bowl. She then cleans the colostomy bag, closes it, and  leaves. I thought to myself, “Wow, she must be in a hurry, because in  this day and age they surely don’t clean colostomy bags that way every  time.” 

That evening she comes back and  says, “It’s time to clean your bag.” and does it the same way again,  using her hands and fingers. I asked her, “That’s not the way it is  cleaned all the time, is it?” She said, “yes, that is way it’s always  been done.” I said, “There must be another way,” and she said, “I am not  aware of any other way”.

A picture of Zonk Thompson

When I got home I immediately got  on the internet and started my search for another, better way to clean  my colostomy bag. I didn’t find one. So I reluctantly did like everyone  else, and cleaned my bag the same way.

I was soon learning that my “new”  life was being muted and restricted by the demands of my colostomy bag. I  feared venturing too far from my home due to the unpredictability of  the bag filling up unexpectedly. What if I could not find a suitable  place to take care of it? So I usually stayed close to home, avoiding  any potential situation that might be embarrassing to me, those I was  with and even strangers.

I thought about this allot over the past years and came up with The Traveler: a port-a-potty for ostomates.

The Traveler has been designed to  permit an Ostomate, when finding themselves facing an urgent situation,  to safely, sanitarily, and discreetly take care and dispose of the whole  issue just about where ever they may be.

I wished I would have had something like The Traveler available to me early on. I have also Developed a reusable one so you never have to use your fingers to squeeze your bag again.


Zonk Thompson, Founder of Sanitary Ostomy Systems, Inc.