Our Story

Our Story



Founder, On-Belay Medical

On-Belay Medical had its unofficial beginning on September 15, 2011 on a football practice field with just four words, “Dad, feel my chest.”  They were spoken by Luke, the 11 year old son of our Founder and CEO, Mark Slaughter.

An ER doctor was standing a few yards away and he quickly placed Luke on the ground.  Within seconds Dr. Peterson stood up and said to Mark, “Go to the hospital.”  The world stopped spinning…

The hospital was a mile away and within a few minutes 245 bpm was flashing on the heart monitor attached to Luke.  Three hours later, and still stuck at 245 bpm, Luke’s heart was stopped for 8 seconds. It was a very long 8 seconds… It worked, and a few days later a procedure was performed at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to “fix” Luke’s heart.  It also worked and the danger passed.

Mark’s family felt incredibly lucky, thankful, blessed, as they left with a perfectly healthy son and brother.  However, promises were made during this event and Mark’s life was about to undergo a drastic change.  The days of chasing money were gone and chasing purpose took its place.

Those promises came alive in January 2012 when a company called “On-Belay” Medical was born.  On-Belay is a company structured to convert the profits found in the medical device industry into giving.  The name On-Belay was chosen as it is a rock climbing term meaning, “One Secured By Another”.

There would be no fundraising, no asking others for money.  The billions of dollars found in the revenue stream in the sales of medical devices in the US would be more than enough.  On-Belay see’s non-profits as it’s “shareholders” and financial giving as it’s KPI, not corporate profits distributed to investors and their ROI.

So, in the fall of 2014, On-Belay decided to donate a significant portion of its ownership to the National Christian Foundation. (see “Our Unique Business Model”) By doing so, On-Belay engaged in the most powerful mechanism possible to convert industry profits into an ongoing economic engine and it’s intent became unarguable.

In July of 2017, On-Belay advanced its commitment as we created a team to teach and perform spine surgeries in the third world.  Our talented team of spine surgeon volunteers travel to Uganda three times a year now.  They lecture at Makerere University in the morning and perform surgeries with our friends at Mulago Hospital throughout the day.  Our motto is simple, “Fix the pump, don’t just bring water.”

Today financial support reaches the homeless, food banks, local medical ministries, disease research, international orphanages, nutrition, clean water, medical care and education of children around the world, etc… Surgeons often tell us they get more satisfaction by working with On-Belay than they ever expected, and they are telling their colleagues. Please read the testimonials.

Promises Made, Promises Kept, Only Getting Started.

Sep 15, 2011
Sep 22, 2011 – Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
On-Belay Medical’s first donation, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital – Sept 12, 2012

Contact us if you would like to speak personally.