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Saginaw women create product to help find missing, impaired people

Women Create QR Tags
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - Two Saginaw women are developing a product to help reunite missing or impaired children and adults with their families, something they can relate to personally.

“It was terrifying. Mostly because, even though my daughter is of age, she is very child-like,” said Shalana Spellman.

Spellman’s daughter Naijah has cognitive impairment related to birth trauma.

When Naijah got dropped off at the wrong stop on the bus four years ago, she was lost for six hours, until Facebook helped find her.

“That was a great deal of time to be separated from family with someone with a cognitive impairment and the anxiety is really harsh for both of us. And so, at that point we thought that there has to be a better way,” Spellman said.

Spellman and her best friend Jessica Patman created that better way, a QR code on a keychain.

When scanned, it pops up with all the emergency info for someone, like a name, age, address, and phone number of a contact.

“And it’s a lot easier than posting to Facebook to try and find someone who knows someone who knows someone and that requires a lot of time and at the same time as taking them to the hospital,” Patman said.

The issue is personal for Patman too.

“My oldest daughter was in a car accident about two years ago. And she was conscious at the time but eventually she lost consciousness and I can’t imagine someone not being able to get into someone’s phone because have codes. They’re locked, you can’t get into that to get to their ice contacts.”

The name of the Saginaw natives’ company is Soetice. “Ice” for “in case of emergency”, And “soet”, which means “sweet” in Swahili, or the feeling you get when reunited with a loved one.

“But since then, we have seen many elderly people or people with dementia or children being misplaced within our community, and sometimes it’s unavoidable. Sometimes people get out,” Spellman said.

The best friends are pitching their company at Saginaw Soup on May 19, hoping to win $2000 to go toward a laser printer to make smaller and more convenient tags.