Partners and Friends

Bruce Chapnick, Pekka Rintala and Sandi Chapnick
Bruce Chapnick, Pekka Rintala and Sandi Chapnick

By Christine Rintala, Epi USA

I received a call from the most sorely missed Bruce Chapnick from JoshProvides at our Austin office in 2010 because he was interested in learning more about the Emfit Movement Monitor and was wanting to provide seizure monitors for the Sarasota community through his family’s newly formed foundation. Bruce and I connected immediately as we talked about his beloved son, Josh, who had just recently passed away suddenly from a seizure, and we shared a mutual compassion and love for the epilepsy community… AND we each had an almost rabid love of college football (His team was the West Virginia Mountaineers and mine was the University of Texas Longhorns…two BIG rivals!). We had the best time ribbing each other over wins and losses and would often call each other before, during and after the games. Sandi and Bruce even made it to Austin so we could all attend a local game where both teams were playing. Imagine Bruce’s horror when West Virginia not only lost, but the four of us ended up having dinner where ALL of the Longhorn players were celebrating their victory! Bruce slinked out the side door of the restaurant to avoid them! My husband Pekka and I still laugh about this today! Bruce was a good guy…and I mean that in every sense of the word. 

That’s a really good idea!

One of the founders of Emfit the company, Heikki Raisanen, had a next-door neighbor in Finland whose daughter was experiencing seizures and asked if the type of technology that Heikki was currently using for the amplification of acoustic instruments like guitars would work for seizures. Lightbulb moment and fast forward 30 years to today and the Emfit Movement Monitor as we know it is distributed in a multitude of countries worldwide. That seems to be the scenario with many of the world’s great inventions. This innocent, random suggestion and observation, along with amazing, patented technology and a small team of talented Finnish technicians and engineers lead to the development of this potentially lifesaving device. 

“What is your connection with Epilepsy?”

Pekka and I are often asked if we know anyone personally with epilepsy and “How did we end up in this line of work?” I had a roommate when I was going to college and came home and found her crumpled on the floor in front of the sink, convulsing. I had no idea what was wrong with her and was absolutely terrified. I wanted to help her but didn’t know what to do. I just sat there beside her, trying to comfort her and after another 20 seconds or so she suddenly stopped seizing and looked up at me as if nothing had happened. She was chopping something on the cutting board and sliced her finger, triggering the seizure. Afterwards, she very nonchalantly told me she had epilepsy and that was that. This was my first introduction into the often frightening and uncertain world of epilepsy. So much has changed since then with awareness and advocacy, thank goodness, and how could I have ever guessed I would be providing monitors for seizure detection 17 years later. 

“Why the Emfit Movement Monitor?”

Pekka and I know we’re providing a reliable, trustworthy seizure monitoring device after 16 years of personally working with the Emfit Movement Monitor and receiving an enormous amount of positive feedback from families and facilities worldwide. I believe we have over half a dozen clinical studies conducted in the U.S., UK, Belgium, Australia, and Denmark – these were all performed independently and Emfit did not fund or sponsor them – and they really highlight the Emfit monitor’s effectiveness and capabilities, with an exceptionally high accuracy rate and a virtually 0% false alarm rate. Clinical settings aside, we are humbled to have an extremely satisfied worldwide base of customers using the Emfit monitor in their homes, keeping their precious ones safe. These facts and our happy customers give us confidence and assurance that loved ones are going to be protected and the entire family is going to be sleeping more peacefully because someone’s going to be there when that alarm goes off.  Families and institutions choose the Emfit monitor because it not only performs extremely well, but it’s easy to install, it’s non-invasive and not attached to the body, there’s no Wi-Fi to cut out or video being produced to interfere with privacy if that’s an issue, the system and sensor are exceptionally durable, and you’re going to get a fast alert without the false alarms.

“Serendipity?”

While Pekka and I did not meet through Emfit or Epi USA, we did fall deeper in love with each other and with the epilepsy community because of the work we do. We really are blessed and thank God for this opportunity He’s given us. What a gift! 

Finally, and so importantly, the Chapnicks are our friends and what an absolute honor and joy it is to partner with their extraordinary foundation that continues to shine so brightly with Josh and Bruce from the heavens, and Sandi, Nicole, Skylar, Andria, Monica and Gayle and so many others connected with JoshProvides continuing the good work here on Earth.

With loving gratitude,
Christine Rintala
Epi USA

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