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Letter: Yellow Dot Program might save your life

Yellow Dot Program might save your life

In the wee hours of Thanksgiving Day 2013, I awoke feeling nauseated like never before. When I got out of bed, I had dry heaves, then within minutes, body weakness, clammy skin, with a slight discomfort in my chest. I wanted to lie back down because it felt like it was starting to pass. However, my husband made me put an aspirin under my tongue and he called 911. I heard him telling the dispatcher that I was having a heart attack.

Heart attack? No way! I attributed this to my broken heart. Three months prior I lost my 42-year-old son in a tragic motorcycle accident near my home. I had been anticipating our first Thanksgiving dinner without him. These were symptoms of grief, I thought.

Well, while I was in the ambulance on my way to Gates Vascular it was confirmed that I indeed was having a heart attack. My husband saved my life! I received excellent care at Gates.

While recuperating at home, I saw Sheriff Tim Howard on TV talking about the New York State Sheriffs’ Association’s Yellow Dot Program, which gives first responders vital information about a person during an emergency. Being on blood thinners at the time, I knew what a paper cut could do, and a minor fender bender could be life-threatening. I called for a packet and placed the Yellow Dot on my driver’s-side rear vehicle window along with all my pertinent medical information on a card that is stored in my glove compartment.

A Yellow Dot can also be placed on your home’s front door with a medical card in a clear plastic bag in your freezer. These dots will alert first responders arriving at the scene of an emergency to look for your vital medical card.

It is sad to say that in almost three years, I have only seen two other vehicles with Yellow Dots. Two lessons here are: don’t try to diagnose yourself, and please consider whether a Yellow Dot would make a difference for you. Minutes can make a difference between life and death.

Donna M. Kogut


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