At 34 years old, Alex looks like a healthy young person. Even when he walks with a cane, he could easily be mistaken as someone with a sports injury.
But Alex lives with a brain injury as a result of an accident nearly seven years ago. At that time, he was living and teaching in Thailand. One day, while riding a bike along the side of the road, he was hit by a truck.
“The last thing I remember hearing was my friend shouting ‘watch out!’ My bike broke into pieces and I blacked out as I hit the ground,” says Alex. He went to the hospital with a severe head injury.
For some people who experience a traumatic brain injury, symptoms get better over time; for others, symptoms are severe and life-altering. Alex, who has since settled back in Toronto, lives with a seizure disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He also has difficulty focusing. At one point he lost two of his five senses and often felt as if he were constantly drowning. He is unable to work as he focuses on improving his health and wellbeing.
Alex is also an advocate for MedicAlert ID service and now wears a MedicAlert ID.
“Because my disabilities are invisible, MedicAlert plays a part in making them visible,” says Alex, who found out about the importance of having the MedicAlert ID service through his involvement with the Brain Injury Society of Toronto where he receives support and resources. “No one sees me as someone who has a disability. Wearing my MedicAlert ID helps people understand that you don’t have to have a physical ailment to have a disability.”
MedicAlert is much more than a bracelet. Its engravings use globally accepted medical terminology, and its 24/7 Emergency Hotline is answered by a live agent who can relay comprehensive medical records and other critical information to emergency responders in 140 languages. This means that, should anything ever happen to Alex, emergency responders will understand his specific conditions. And MedicAlert’s family notification service will also make sure that his family is contacted as soon as possible.
Last Fall, Alex was invited to the MedicAlert Connect Protect launch event with the Toronto Police Service where he volunteered to speak with police and other likeminded charitable organizations about the importance of MedicAlert ID service.
“I feel safer with MedicAlert because if something happens to me when I’m on the bus or anywhere, say I have a seizure, MedicAlert can speak for me if I can’t.”
Thank you, Alex for sharing your MedicAlert story with us! Are you a MedicAlert subscriber and would like to share your story? We would love to hear from you! Share your story at medicalert.ca/community.