In case of emergency: ID bands offer extra protection for people with disabilities

Published by: Record-eagle
Written by: Sarah Elms

Peace of mind. That’s what medical identification bracelets bring to Becky and Michael Dornoff.

“We have a number of severely disabled children. We thought it was a really good idea for their safety,” Becky Dornoff said.

The Williamsburg couple’s children are among more than 100 community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities now sporting bracelets that display emergency contacts and medical information. The recent distribution was made possible by Roger and Elaine Loeffelbein, who donated the ID bands to interested families.

“We feel like they’re a lot more safe now,” Becky Dornoff said. “Things happen that you just don’t expect.”

An unexpected incident is what prompted the Loeffelbeins to take action in the first place.

Their son Mark Loeffelbein, 50, was riding his bicycle in June when he was struck by a motorist and badly injured. He told first responders not to take him to the hospital, but he doesn’t have the ability to make his own medical decisions.

Loeffelbein has Williams syndrome — a genetic condition that causes developmental delays, learning disabilities and cardiovascular complications — and Roger Loeffelbein is his legal guardian.

The emergency responders didn’t know about his syndrome, so they let him go home when he should have been hospitalized.

The Loeffelbeins were shaken from the incident. They called on Grand Traverse Industries, local law enforcement, emergency medical services, Disability Network Northern Michigan, Northern Lakes Community Mental Health, Munson Medical Center and local probate courts to come up with a plan to make sure what happened to their son wouldn’t happen again.  Click here to read the rest of the story

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