Baylor student launches company to shed light on challenges of epilepsy, unplanned hospital visits

Diagnosed with drug resistant epilepsy at 11, Isla Ritchie now runs Go Bag, which sells bags of essential items in case of emergencies
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 12:16 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - After years of unplanned hospital visits due to her drug resistant epilepsy diagnosis, Baylor University freshman Isla Ritchie is helping others in similar situations with the launch of her company Go Bag.

According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy affects nearly 50 million people worldwide.

Ritchie was diagnosed with drug resistant epilepsy when she was just 11 years old, suffering from seizures despite using medication. After spending years of her life in and out of hospitals due to seizures, she finally found seizure relief in a medical device called VNS Therapy™, which is designed to prevent seizures before they start and stop them if they do.

Because Ritchie had so many unplanned hospital trips, her mother, Lisa Ritchie, started putting together a little bag of essential items they needed while they were there— deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, phone chargers, and more.

Lisa then started giving the bags to friends who were also going through difficult times and received positive feedback.

Around the same time, Isla started school at Baylor University, where she took an entrepreneurship class and fell in love.

This passion led her to team up with her mom and start a business for their bags called Go Bag.

“You wouldn’t know you need it until you do,” Isla Ritchie, the CEO of Go Bag, told KWTX. “It’s to get you through a difficult time, and it also could get friends through a difficult time, too. It’s not just you.”

The brand carries a line of six unique bags full of hospital-stay essentials. It’s meant for those “just in case” moments, according to the mother and daughter duo.

“My only goal in life is to help at least one person or just to help people in general, because people have helped me every time I’ve been to the emergency room or hospital,” Isla Ritchie, the CEO of Go Bag, told KWTX. “Nurses, doctors, NPs, PAs, it’s just all these people have taught me how caring they were, and how it’s left a really big impact on me. So I want to do that to other people.”

Go Bag offers six unique bags to customers at a price of $22.

To learn more about the company and its products, click here.