Local entrepreneur partners with hospitals to bring recovery wear to patients

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

SALISBURY – When Leah Wyrick chose breast cancer as her topic for the senior project that East Rowan High School used to require, she had no idea how much the disease would personally affect her. Two years later, her mother Nancy would be diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was already interested in the topic and now I’m watching my mom, my best friend, go through this terrible, terrible disease and got to see firsthand all the complications that she went through,” said Wyrick.

One of those complications came from her mother’s recovery bra, which Wyrick said did not have any pockets or places to hold the drain that is required in post-surgery care. When her mother put her knee down on the bed, she placed it on the tubing for the drain, ripping it off.

Watching her mother’s struggles and working on the senior project led Wyrick to create her own recovery bra, the Resilience Bra. She sewed the original prototype herself with help from a friend and a neighbor. That recovery bra has now begun to help patients in hospitals in Salisbury and Winston-Salem.

“She had a lot of post-operative complications that resulted from that mastectomy that ended up causing about three or four more additional surgeries that she shouldn’t have had to undergo if she could have had a better recovery bra that could have prevented some of those complications,” said Wyrick.

Wyrick said that past the added practicalness of the Resilience Bra, another of her hopes with the product is to help “give women the sense of confidence back in their lives that they might lose.”

When Wyrick enrolled at Wake Forest University, she did so planning to go to medical school and become a doctor. One day, when walking across campus she saw an opportunity to pitch an idea for the Center for Entrepreneurship. She pitched her recovery bra and became the first freshman ever accepted into the program, which led to her starting the business “Three Strands Recovery Wear.”

“It was a very big transitional time and one I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go down. But that first year creating that product and getting the first ever prototypes made from a lady on Craigslist in Lexington. It was a whole thing trying to find a bra manufacturer and it was a lot of fun,” said Wyrick.

Now, four years and four prototypes later, Wyrick has begun a partnership with Novant Health and Atrium Health to put the Resilience Bra in Salisbury and Winston-Salem hospitals.

Wyrick said she gave 20 bras to Atrium Health in Wake Forest, 20 bras to Novant Health Medical Park in Winston-Salem as well as giving away recovery bras to Salisbury Surgical Associates as they needed.

“I’ve been really blessed with the surgeons that I have met in Winston and here in Salisbury, because just to see the impact and the commitment to taking extra steps to giving patients the care that they deserve and partnering with somebody in the local community to help make a difference,” said Wyrick.

Wyrick also said that the American Cancer Society has contacted her in hopes that she can join as a vendor.

“To start seeing how I can help support their organization and the millions and millions of women that have breast cancer, or any type of cancer, that use them as a resource, it’s really cool,” said Wyrick.