Barb makes ZenaproTM Hybrid Hernia Repair Devices.
Barb pulls a piece of wet porcine small intestinal submucosa out of a bucket next to her. She stretches the submucosa thin as she places it on her workspace.
Barb is an expert on this stuff. She’s been working with submucosa at Cook Biotech for 12 years. And she’s been raising livestock at her small farm for longer than that. She’s a busy woman, and she stays motivated thanks to her passion for helping others.
“I’d been here for about a month, and we had a team meeting,” says Barb. “They brought in a three-year old little girl who had been treated with our product.” The girl had been badly burned from hot coffee. Her doctors used a small intestinal submucosa product to treat her wounds. “It was remarkable. You could hardly see any scars on her.”
As she works, she calls out to Ashia, who is working at another table. “Ashia’s working on a different product,” she says. Barb walks over to help her on a quick task. “Teamwork is so important here.” When Barb creates Zenapro, she expertly configures the layers of submucosa and the sheet of polypropylene into one single product. She handles the product through the entire process.
Barb works with porcine small intestinal submucosa to create products that help patients around the world. And when she goes home, she raises livestock – including pigs – with her family.
She and her kids travelled the US showing their pigs at fairs and national shows. She would pack up the truck on Friday after work. At night, they’d sleep on cots in the pig barns. “It was really fun. My kids loved it,” she says. “And my pigs were happy.”
“I’ve got 17 cows now, and eight of them are babies. I’ll have 18 cows soon. Ashia hasn’t had her calf yet. She’s being contrary.”
Barb pauses as she picks up another piece of submucosa.
“And, yes. I name my livestock after my coworkers.”