Aucklander Hayley McDonald has forged her own place in the world of medical alert bracelets – creating a product that Kiwis with medical conditions really want to wear.
In 2018, seven-year-old McDonald’s daughter Payton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and had to start wearing medical identification.
McDonald’s was told to look overseas because traditional medical alert bracelets weren’t the right solution for a young girl who was likely to be repeatedly questioned about the obvious, thick bracelet.
So the idea of McDonald’s medical alert activity, ‘My identity‘ has begun.
“I’m a web designer by trade, so I thought I could do this,” McDonald said. Thing.
“I found some stock and had a product made, and I was like ‘well, I’ve got nothing to lose.'”
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McDonald’s wanted to address the stigma faced by people who wear medical alert bracelets, especially young children.
Medical bracelets are worn to indicate how a person should be treated for certain medical conditions, ranging from allergic reactions to conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
“I’m trying to make it a little more mainstream, a little more cool and funky, and not so taboo,” McDonald said.
“The feedback I get is that people know they have to wear medical ID, but in the past it was just ugly…They really want to wear it.”
McDonald’s also works with Diabetes New Zealand, choosing people from the diabetic community to name a bracelet after and with all proceeds going to Diabetes NZ.
The wristbands bring about $5,000 a year to the national organization. This year, vouchers for them will be included in all “newly diagnosed” packs – offered by Diabetes New Zealand to hospitals across the country.
When McDonald’s started her business, she traveled to St John for advice on what kind of information to include.
“There are no strict regulations regarding bracelets, but St John told me to include the person’s name so that they [paramedics] can talk to you if you’re unconscious, and your NHI number, so hospital staff can see your medical records, no matter which hospital you’re taken to,” she said.
The jewel also indicates the state of health of the person and an emergency telephone number.