Janeca Werts Provides Supplies and Emotional Support to Ostomates Through Pouches of Love

By Virginia Drew on October 18, 2023

Emotional Support to Ostomates Through Pouches of Love

Charlotte, NC – Janeca Werts started Pouches of Love in 2019 to give ostomy bags and supplies to those who can’t afford them as well as offering free therapy by their board-certified therapists.

Janeca_Werts

Janeca Werts has had Crohn’s Disease and severe ulcerative colitis for many years, and in 2017 had to have ostomy surgery.  She would have died without it. She has undergone six surgeries since then. So she knows first-hand the struggles confronted by ostomates.

Karri, her son, is also involved in the business.  He is very enthusiastic about it because he saw that this saved his mom’s life and wants to tell everyone about their services.  They currently send out 10 to 15 packages every week and serve people from all over the country.

The transition to using ostomy bags is very difficult in part because doctors and nurses tend to downplay the amount of effort involved and don’t explain what can go wrong (leaks, infections, etc). This creates a lot of demand for the services that Pouches of Love provides.

Another problem is that many patients are told that using an ostomy bag will be temporary, and it is only after they have had the surgery that they learn in their case, reversal is not an option.  This often causes depression. Suicidal thoughts among these patients is one reason that the counseling that Pouches of Love provides is so necessary.

Pouches of Love holds meet and greets every two weeks to discuss do’s and dont’s and provide support for those who are having trouble with the transition. It can be very arduous for the first timer.

Right now, the business is virtual, but Janeca wants to transition to a hybrid model so she can meet with local members in Charlotte, NC, where she lives, but still serve people all across the country.  She recently moved to Charlotte and doesn’t currently have a building that will suit their needs.

People find Pouches of Love through Google searches and referrals from doctors and supply companies.  Often there is an issue because, due to leaks, the patients need more supplies than they are scheduled to receive, and their insurance doesn’t cover that.  So the supply company will give them Janeca’s telephone number.  She is also an affiliate of the United Ostomy Association of America, which also refers people.

People tend to not want to tell others that they have an ostomy.  Part of Janeca’s mission is to let people know that it is not something to be embarrassed about. People receive ostomies for many different conditions. Among them are cancer, diverticulitis, gastroparesis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, severe constipation, and accidental damage to the colon.

Many people need this service.  According to the National Institutes of Health, upwards of 1 million Americans have an ostomy and approximately 100,000 ostomy surgeries are performed in the United States each year.  Fortunately, in many cases, the need for an ostomy bag is temporary lasting only several months. But some have a permanent need.

Janeca is a native of Charlotte, NC.  She is a rabid Panthers fan and loves the natural beauty of the area and the vibrant downtown.  She has a lot of fond memories of growing up in this rapidly developing city.

If you are in need of her services or are a physician or surgeon looking for options to help their patients, you can learn more about Pouches of Love on their website. Janeca is also very active on Instagram and Facebook

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