The light turned green and I pulled into the intersection to turn left. My son, Matthew, was sitting in the back seat singing “The Wheels On the Bus”.
Then everything went black…
My next memory was being slumped over in my car, crying out in pain, staring at my own blood splattered on the dash.
I couldn’t move.
I couldn’t speak.
I couldn’t hear my sons voice.
I couldn’t help him.
I later learned that a young woman was talking on her cell phone and ran the red light. She was going at least 40 mph and her car t-boned into my door.
My adult son has down syndrome, autism, and is non-verbal. I was terrified that he might be injured, or worse, but then I heard his voice and a sense of calm came over me. He was alive and that’s all I needed to know at that moment.
Though I was incapacitated I was alert enough to know that he would need special care because he wouldn’t be able to communicate if he was hurt.
Finally, after what felt like hours, two young men arrived. One of them got Matt out of the car, and to a safe place, while the other comforted me until help arrived.
It took about 30 minutes to remove me from the car and into an ambulance. I received 9 stitches in my head and Matthew, thankfully, was unhurt.
Sounds like a happy ending, right? Here’s the problem…
Though Matthew was pulled from the car and was safe, no one knew anything about him. What if he had a meltdown, had medical issues or was hurt and couldn’t communicate it to anyone? They didn’t even know his name.
I seriously considered designing a product, with a national data base, that could easily identify children and adults with special needs in case of an emergency. I never got to it but someone else did and I am so honored to recommend “If I Need Help”.
“If I Need Help” is a company that was founded by Bruce and Erin Wilson. Their autistic son disappeared several times, causing fear in their hearts, and they knew something needed to be done.
Their product, though amazing, is simple and easy to purchase and sign up for. Just go to their website: www.ifineedhelp.org and select the right product for your child, and there are many to choose from. Then register your child, listing everything that someone would need to know in case of an emergency. Every product has a QR code on it that can be scanned by any smartphone or pulled up on a computer. Some of the products they carry are; t-shirts, magnets, ID pins, bumper stickers, window clings, ID clips, patches, keychains, dog tags and cards. Every child/adult with special needs has a different tolerance level for things on their bodies or clothes so I love the selection!