To say it was a harrowing moment for Taylor and Marshall Cox when one of their two sons with autism went missing would be an understatement. Thankfully, the police quickly managed to find the Marshall’s son, Desmond, safe and sound. Prompted by the frightening experience, Taylor has now become an advocate for Project Lifesaver, a non-profit organization that offers a free radio frequency tracker that allows children with autism to be located and picked up wherever they are, in the event that they’re lost or missing.
Taylor Cox said the organization first came to her attention during her conversation with the 911 dispatcher when Desmond went missing.
“Within the first couple of minutes of talking to the dispatcher, she said, 'is he on project lifesaver?' and I was like, 'lady I have no idea what you’re talking about,'” Cox said, according to a report this month by Fox 13 Now.com.
As soon as Desmond was safely returned home, police asked the Marshall’s whether they’d be interested in signing up their sons for Project Lifesaver. Needless to say, they agreed. Several police departments and sheriff’s offices across Utah have joined the program, which is also available through other law enforcement agencies throughout the country and around the world.
“Now that we have these trackers on them, if something was to happen, we would just immediately call 911 tell the dispatcher that they are on project lifesaver, give them their full name, their birth date, they ping the tracker and then they send somebody to go pick them up,” Cox said.
According to Fox 13 News, those involved in the program are visited by a police officer once a month to replace the batteries on the tracker, even though they can last up to sixty days. The trackers are most commonly recommended for children and with autism and adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Taylor said she hopes her experience will inspire others to sign up for the program.
“We’re just so grateful that we’re one of the lucky ones because it could’ve been a lot worse,” she said.