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60 Years of Saving Lives: Jane’s Story

May 2021 Share with   facebook   twitter

The first time Jane heard her son’s heartbeat was in the Emergency Room. She was 24-weeks pregnant and had just been pulled from the wreckage of her car after an unspeakable accident, and had no idea if her unborn child had survived.

It was 1978. Jane was driving from her parent’s house on the 11th line in Innisfil, Ontario to the small town of Stroud to get groceries when an oil tanker, just finishing a delivery, backed out of a driveway, didn’t see her, and rolled right over her Dodge Dart.

When the paramedics arrived on scene, Jane was unconscious. She was just coming to as they reached into the car to take her pulse. There on her wrist in plain sight was her MedicAlert bracelet.
“I remember them turning over my bracelet and looking at my information. They commented specifically that I had a MedicAlert ID. To this day, I have no idea if they called the 24-hour hotline, but they were talking about the information engraved on the back of my bracelet, and they seemed to know a lot about my type 1 diabetes. So my sense is that they called to get more information and to see if there was anything else they needed to know,” says Jane. “I think they were worried I was slipping into a diabetic coma. I couldn’t move, but I was more worried about the baby.”

As the rescue crew began their work to remove Jane from the crumpled car, she was able to let the paramedics know she was pregnant. Immediately they switched gears and put an oxygen mask on her. “I’m not sure I could have said much more than those few words at the time,” says Jane. “MedicAlert was my voice for everything else they needed to know.”

The now retired pharmacist considers herself very lucky. “Things could have been so much worse than they were. I am 100 per cent convinced that if I had not had my MedicAlert bracelet on, things might have been different. In the end, I smashed my knee and my ankle, and I broke my cheekbone. But they weren’t just treating that. With the information on my bracelet and what was in my health information record back at MedicAlert, they were also looking out for the impact of my health condition and the health of my unborn baby.”

The car accident was a watershed moment in Jane’s life.

“I've had diabetes since the age of seven. When I was younger, my parents were there to protect me. When I started university and moved to Toronto, I got my first MedicAlert bracelet because I did not carry a purse, and I wanted to be sure that if anything happened people would know I had type 1 diabetes. I never dreamed that I would be in a serious accident and that my MedicAlert bracelet would help save my life and my son’s life, too.”

After her accident, Jane handed out countless MedicAlert pamphlets to her patients at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Innisfil where she worked for more than 30 years.  She was quick to point out from her own experience that MedicAlert is completely different from the generic IDs sold in her pharmacy. “It’s the detailed information contained in your database, the 24-hour emergency hotline, and the custom engraved information that follows international standards that sets MedicAlert head and shoulders above any other product out there.”

In particular, Jane recommends MedicAlert for children, as well. “Wearing it from the time you are young means it simply become a part of who you are.”

“As a health care practitioner, I can see the considerable benefit MedicAlert brings,” she says. “As a subscriber who has directly benefited, I can honestly say it is a lifesaving tool. I know it is. I’ve had first hand experience. My son is a constant reminder of how things might have been different if my ID had not been on my wrist that day.”
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