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“MedicAlert® saved my life – and helped me save someone else's.”


April 2020 Share with   facebook   twitter

Gary Robertson learned he had a severe allergy to penicillin when he was young. But as a self-conscious teen, he never wore his medical ID.
 
That changed, years later, when he was in a serious car accident. "They rushed me to the ER with broken ribs, lost teeth, and bruises all over my body. I was unconscious - I couldn't even warn them about my allergy," Gary recalls. "So they gave me penicillin. My reaction to it was so severe, I fell into a coma."
Gary Robertson
 
Four days passed as Gary lay unconscious. His doctors were dumbfounded. Finally, his aunt was able to identify him, and alert them to his life-threatening allergy.
 
"Thankfully, I made it through. The nurse gave me a form for a MedicAlert ID. That was almost 50 years ago. I haven't taken it off since."
 
During his career as a police officer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Gary even had the chance to pay it forward.
 
"Once, I was working in the main Vancouver jail when two fellow officers brought in a man who seemed drunk and violent - slurring his words, and putting up a fight. But something seemed off. That's when I noticed a MedicAlert bracelet around his wrist."
 
Gary flipped over the man's ID, and realized he was in diabetic crisis. "While the Sergeant called for medical assistance, I grabbed a can of cola and poured it down his throat, helping him to swallow. The other officers were amazed."
 
Since then, Gary has always kept an eye out for fellow MedicAlert members - even donating to MedicAlert, so that more Canadians are protected in their worst moments of need. "It's like I belong to a fraternity," he says. "We have to look out for each other."
 
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