Finding the Answer

Urostomate invents device to stop constant pouch leaks

By Keith Lawton

There I was still lying in bed eight weeks after surgery trying to figure out how to stop the urine leaks. Where I live, there are no support groups for newly minted ostomy patients. On my way out of the hospital, I was handed a bag of ostomy supply samples and told to “experiment” to find the “magical combination” that works for me. The whole situation was very discouraging.

I decided eight weeks was enough time to wallow in self-pity. So, I dragged myself out of bed, slipped on my robe, fired up my sound system and strapped on my Zendrum, a hand-crafted controller used as a percussion instrument. One of my greatest pleasures is performing high-end music for a live audience.

After running through a few songs, my eyes started welling up with tears. Soon after I was flat out bawling like a baby. I had worried about this moment so much I actually asked my surgeon if I had a choice on which side of my stomach my stoma would show up on? If you’re reading this… you know the answer to that question. My new stoma was not going to interfere with my music performances. What a blessing! Things started looking up.

After dealing with incessant barrier leaks since surgery, I was so frustrated I said to myself, “There has got to be a way to stop this leaking!” So I set out to find the answer. After two years of experimenting with 52 different items such as sculpey clay, rubber balloons, special effects silicone, alien tape, plumber’s putty and even cement caulk, I ultimately invented a device that stops the barrier leaking instantly!

I took it to my local technician’s shop and showed it to the first guy I ran into. He said to me, “Get that thing patented ASAP and I’ll be your west coast salesman!” He used to work in the healthcare field taking care of people with ostomies and stomas.

Although the U.S. Patent Office ultimately declined granting me a patent, the device is still so needed in the worldwide ostomy community. I showed it to a neighbor from South Africa who started crying as I was explaining how it worked. I asked, “Why are you crying?” She said, ”My sister had such a terrible experience with her stoma that she tried to commit suicide. Your device will save lives!” She offered to be my sales rep for Africa.

I’ve been wearing my own prototypes for two years now…leak free. Instead of remaining a slave to the leaks hindering my lifestyle regular basis, I now get to decide when to change my pouching system.
I no longer worry about that dreaded, embarrassing moment when you have a leak at the worst possible time. For me, that would be while on stage during a performance. My device (I call it the “Barrier Press”) gave me back my control, confidence lifestyle. I no longer worry about on-stage leaks or any leaks… period! To find out more about my performances, go to For more information about the “Barrier Press,” go to

Close Menu