Why You Need A Medical ID: A True Story

Picture this: You’re flying down a mountain on your bike at speeds topping 40 mph—wind in your face, sun shining, adrenaline pumping.  You’re totally absorbed in the moment with all of your thoughts consumed by the road.

All of a sudden, a dog crosses your path.

Your mind switches into emergency mode and things careen forward in what seems like slow motion. You think STOP, course correct, swerve, but it’s too late. You fly over your handlebars and land on your head. The next few minutes are critical, but you’re too incapacitated to speak. The minutes that follow are a blur.

This actually happened to our team member PJ Santoro’s husband, Greg. It was ten years ago when he was participating in one of many bike races in his home of Marin County.

Here’s what happened next: When Greg crashed, one of his bindings failed to release, so the bike came with him as he flew through the air. He broke seven ribs, dislocated his shoulder and elbow, and suffered a collapsed lung. His helmet actually exploded into pieces—exactly as it was meant to—and saved his skull from the impact (that’s the actual helmet pictured above).

Lucky for him, a spectator saw the whole crash and came to his rescue. Greg was immediately taken to the hospital where he had an emergency tracheotomy and spent the next three days recovering. Even though he was unconscious, he had a medical ID on his jersey, so the hospital knew who he was and whom to notify.

He recovered 100% and continues to cycle to this day.  The happiest of happy endings in such a close call.

Here’s why we’re telling you this story: Emergencies happen.

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, professional adventurer, or just out for a walk in your city, you never know when something might happen. You can’t avoid accidents altogether—and we want you to get out there and adventure!— but you can be prepared. HELLA ID was created to ensure you have your critical emergency information on you at all times so you have a better chance of survival should something happen. If you have medical conditions or allergies, this is even more important so medical staff know exactly how to treat you.

Think of your HELLA ID as a little insurance policy for you and your loved ones: a method for guaranteeing you’re identifiable when you may not have a voice to advocate for yourself. We wish you happy trails and rad adventures. Journey safely out there.

Big love,

The HELLA team