When a Community Comes Together
Not too long ago, I was scrolling through my local community page on Facebook when I came across a post from a woman who had found a MedicAlert bracelet on her evening bus ride. From time to time as MedicAlert's CEO, I will receive what we refer to as “lost emblem” reports that detail phone calls, emails and even the occasional call to our emergency hotline about our IDs found by Good Samaritans or lost by Members. Never had I experienced a Facebook “lost emblem” report, and for one to be found in my neighbourhood was definitely a first!
I immediately leapt into action knowing how much this ID was likely missed by its owner! (Facebook Messenger is a wonderful thing). Within 10 minutes, J.C. Lam, a Toronto-based writer/educator, and author of the original Facebook post, replied with the following message:
“Hi Leslie, I gave it to the driver. Another passenger had just left it on the seat for someone to pick up. I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I just wanted it turned over to the TTC since it was found on one of their buses.”
That was the beginning of a week-long journey to reunite the bracelet with its owner.
Here’s what J.C. had to say about her experience.
I had never looked at a MedicAlert bracelet up close until I found one on the bus the other evening. I recognized the distinctive logo on the metal plate immediately.
Someone with a medical condition was no longer wearing their bracelet.
I know that if I lost something as important as this bracelet, I would be panicked. I would also hope that someone would make the effort to return it to the owner.
When I first picked up the bracelet, another passenger expressed concern that I would just pocket it. I assured her that I would post a notice along with photos on the neighbourhood Facebook page. At the end of my trip, the driver was asked to deliver this to lost and found.
That night, I would receive Facebook messages from the CEO of MedicAlert as well as someone who knew the owner. The following day, again through direct messaging, I heard from a grateful mother who explained that her child had removed the bracelet during their bus ride home.
These bracelets identify medical conditions or medical perils. Thousands of Canadians wear these in case they are not be able to self-advocate or communicate with emergency personnel during a medical emergency.
If I did not know it before, I certainly know now how vital MedicAlert is in the lives of its clients.
Thank you, J.C., your story and experience are reflective of the amazing and supportive community that surrounds MedicAlert. For three generations we’ve protected more than a million Canadians of all ages. We know what it means when a Good Samaritan steps forward to help one of our Members.
And just in case you’re wondering, the bracelet did make its way back to the child, which means our thanks not only go to J.C. but also the friendly folks at the TTC from the bus driver to the representatives in the Lost and Found Department.
Now a mother and child can rest easier. So, too can J.C. and I.