Mom Creates Special Seat Belt Cover for Daughter with Hearing Loss: This Will 'Keep Me Safe!'
Natalie Bell, of Beaconsfield, Australia, was looking for ways to make her daughter’s hearing loss known to the public in case of an emergency. The 10-year-old girl, Shae Bell, had just gotten a cochlear implant, and Natalie came up with the perfect idea: a velcro sign.
She created a small attachment that reads, “I AM DEAF I HAVE A COCHLEAR IMPLANT NO MRI,” to put on Shae’s seat belt, backpack, and other accessories.
“Shae thinks this is great and says, ‘This will help keep me safe!’ ” Natalie, owner of Personalised by Nat, tells PEOPLE. “I started to make personalized [items] as a hobby … I have now turned my little hobby into a business.”
She shared a Facebook photo of Shae wearing a seat belt with the attachment on June 5.
“I always wonder what would happen if I was in a car accident with my daughter in the car and I was unable to let the doctors know that my daughter could not have a MRI due to having a cochlear implant,” Natalie wrote in the Facebook post, “now I don’t need to worry about that with these seat belt covers. These can be made for any special needs that the medical team will need to know if you are unable to tell them.”
The post quickly went viral. It has been shared at least 758,000 times and has more than 206,000 likes. Natalie shared other signs that read, “I HAVE AUTISM I MAY RESIST HELP,” and, “I HAVE DOWN SYNDROME I MAY RESIST HELP.”
She also made a special clock for Shae that shows the numbers in sign language.
“There has been so much positive feedback from people all over the world — including police, ambulance, and firefighters — saying how this would have made so much of a difference at the scene of an accident on the way they had approached the situation,” Natalie says.
Natalie sells the signs along with the clocks and other items like backpacks and juice holders. The items are such a hit that orders are delayed “due to high demand,” according to the business website.
Shae was born with mild hearing loss, Natalie tells PEOPLE. By the time she was 1 year old, Shae had lost most of the hearing in her left ear and had severe hearing loss in her right ear. Now, the mom of five says she’s glad her efforts have touched people around the world.
“The best thing is how it has brought awareness to so many people around the world and how this one item could possibly assist in a critical situation,” she says. “Going viral has been amazing, I never thought any more than a few of my friends would see [the photo].”