Janet Sperou
Golden Grove, SA, member since 1971
"My husband and I are out most weekends and for me, MedicAlert membership is one of the cheapest forms of ‘life insurance’ you can buy."

‘My husband and I are out most weekends and for me, MedicAlert membership is one of the cheapest forms of ‘life insurance’ you can buy’, says Janet.

Janet was just five years old when her Mum explained that her new Medic Alert bracelet would help her if she ‘got sick’. Janet had been diagnosed with aortic stenosis – an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve, which restricts the flow of blood into the body’s main artery.

Janet recalls her parents being concerned that if she collapsed she may be too ill or distressed to properly explain her condition to ambulance officers.

‘Luckily, I was one of MedicAlert Foundation’s first members as my father worked for St John, who with Rotary, introduced the Foundation into Australia that year,’ she says.

Surgeons replaced Janet’s faulty heart valve with an artificial one when she was eight, which is why she always wears her emblem and keeps her Foundation membership current.

‘While my prosthetic valve is working perfectly, it could fail or become infected. Taking warfarin to prevent blood clots could also cause serious problems if I have an accident or need emergency surgery’, she explains.

A St John volunteer through her teens and into her twenties, Janet remembers being trained to look for a Medic Alert emblem.

‘I also told my two sons when they were young to mention my bracelet to ambulance officers if I collapsed.

‘Luckily I never did, but I know that wearing a MedicAlert emblem helps to take the guesswork out in an emergency as it quickly ‘tells’ paramedics the information they need to give the best possible treatment.’

A busy management professional and grandmother of five, Janet still finds time to volunteer, now helping to crew SA’s iconic River Murray paddle steamers.

‘It’s easy to put things off, but if you have a health problem and are considering joining Medic Alert, do it today – it could be a decision that helps to save your life tomorrow.’

If you have your own MedicAlert story to tell, we’d love to hear from you.

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