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Meet Jay and Amy

Jay Tydlaska focuses on product design, development, and manufacturing as the CEO. He also tends to sales and legal matters. He is a 2000 graduate of Texas Wesleyan University with a Masters in Nurse Anesthesia. Jay has been married to Mandy Tydlaska for 18 years, and they have two daughters. Jay is proud to be the biggest geek he knows. He revels in all things technology and is the “go-to-guy” when you have a tech question.

Amy Sheppard is originally a Colorado native but has accepted that she may now be a Texan. Amy considers herself the chief problem solver and asker of questions. She has learned to embrace her inner engineer. Amy is a firm believer in “there must be better way” and cofounded Magaw Medical on that premise. A practicing CRNA for the past 15 years, she attempts to balance revolutionizing airway management with getting the kids to practice on time.

How the CoPilot came to be

Jay Tydlaska and Amy Sheppard are CRNA’s and Product Managers for the CoPilot.

In March 2008, Jay was working at a surgery center in Dallas where he experienced his first “can’t intubate, can’t ventilate”.

In his own words:

“This was the big emergency we all hope never happens, and if it does happen, you hope you have plenty of backup. I had none. As I worked my way through the difficult airway algorithm, nothing was working. This particular facility just happened to have a video laryngoscope. At the time, I had no idea such a thing existed! I was able to get my patient intubated within a few seconds and my patient did fine. Disaster averted. After my pulse slowed down and I recovered from the scare, I couldn’t help but wonder why the video laryngoscope was my last choice instead of my first.”

He stopped by his long-time friend and business partner’s house to tell her about his experience. In Amy’s words: “He was so excited about the new device he had discovered and how it had enabled him to prevent a potentially tragic outcome. He wouldn’t stop talking about it.”

Together Jay and Amy decided they needed to purchase a video laryngoscope for their small anesthesia practice. That turned out to not be an easy task. It was a struggle to get sales reps to return phone calls or share price points. When they finally reached someone willing to talk to them about the device, they were discouraged to learn the price tag was tens of thousands of dollars. Their small practice couldn’t possibly afford the scope.

Jay was so impressed with the video laryngoscope technology, he refused to let price be a deterrent. If he could not find a company and a device that was able to meet his needs, then he would build his own. He and Amy built their company and developed the CoPilot VL+® on values like quality, affordability, reliability, and service.

In Spring 2009, they were awarded the Tech Fort Worth Impact Award in the health care category for the CoPilot VL+® laryngoscope design, and for their goal of making video laryngoscopy the standard of care for all intubations. “We want to improve care for the 50 million patients that are intubated every year,” Jay explains. “Winning this award gave us the validation that we needed to keep going.”

The result was the CoPilot VL+®: A video laryngoscope that can – and should – be used on every patient. Every time.

“I have used it twice since I received it, once on a trauma with C-spine immobilization, and on a burn victim, with circumferential neck 2nd degree burns and inhalation with impending laryngeal edema. It worked extremely well, no difficulty, the flight crew personnel that were with me on both occasions were also very impressed, with both the ease of operation and smooth intubation. I can't thank you enough for providing an excellent product.”

Dr. E. Young, MD, Elfrida, AZ

“I own and have used a lot of different airway devices over the years, but the CoPilot VL is the device I carry with me from room to room.”

J Olson, CRNA Williston ND

“I’ve been using CoPilot VL® for all intubations for three years. That’s 1,103 intubations to date. The advantages of using a CoPilot VL® become obvious with the first use, and now it’s the first choice for intubation at our facility. Our patients deserve “first time every time.”

Bruce Andregg Spokane, WA

“I used the CoPilot VL on a patient is a c-collar with a C2 fracture today. Worked like a charm. For the price, it's awesome. Well done.”

Eric C, Broadview OH

“The CoPilot VL and its bougie port solves the achilles heel of VL's - an amazing view of what you can hit.”

Jeff Hensley, CRNA Tulsa OK

“For an independent contractor working in different locations, I love knowing I always have my CoPilot VL with me. Thank you for putting video laryngoscopy within everyone's reach.”

Jason Whiteley, CRNA Tulsa OK

“My hat is off to you for creating an affordable device that is thoughtfully designed, easy to use and compact.”

Benjamin Dunkley, DO Murray UT

“I used the CoPilot VL on a cardiac arrest the other day. It was a very difficult airway (grade 4) due to anatomy, but CoPilot still gave us a good view of the cords and the airway was secured. I'm very pleased with the device.”

Dave P, Medway Mass


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