Frank’s Story: A Legendary MedicAlert Advocate

The Frank Challant Story

Frank, a Massachusetts native, was a young college student in Ohio in 1967.  As spring became summer, the outside temperature shot up to 107 degrees F, and the air conditioning in Frank’s dorm ran constantly. Before long, Frank started to feel run-down. After a few days with no improvement, he ventured to the local hospital, where he was quickly diagnosed with double pneumonia.

The attending physician gave Frank an injection of penicillin and Frank went back to his dorm room to recover. No more than three months later, feeling run-down again, Frank went to the on-campus infirmary. He figured he was exhausted from his studies, football practice and working as the assistant athletic trainer for the basketball, baseball, track, wrestling and tennis teams, but wanted to make sure he was ok.

At the infirmary, Frank was given an injection of penicillin. By the time he could roll his sleeve back down, Frank went into anaphylactic shock – dizziness, stomach cramps, profuse sweating, vomiting – and within three minutes, Frank hit the floor. When he came to five minutes later, the doctor was hovering over him with a tracheostomy kit in his hand – Frank had no idea what happened or what was going on or that he was allergic to penicillin.

After receiving a shot of Benadryl, Frank was kept in the college infirmary for observation for five hours. With nothing to do but look at the four walls, Frank noticed a brochure for MedicAlert. He’d never heard of MedicAlert, so he read it, and within days of that infirmary visit Frank sent in his request for a custom engraved MedicAlert ID and membership plan. Frank now knew that MedicAlert was exactly what he needed, adamantly stating, “There is no way in hell I ever want to experience that again.” 

Having trusted in MedicAlert for over 54 years, Frank says: “MedicAlert is my best defense against my life-threatening allergy. If I ever go into anaphylactic shock again, my custom engraved MedicAlert ID will communicate to an emergency response team exactly what I am allergic to – the very information that can save my life sits on my wrist. You can’t beat that!”

After graduating college, Frank began his career as a high school teacher – his sights were set on becoming an athletic trainer, and within three years Frank was offered a position with the New England Patriots. Ten months later, the Boston Celtics came calling.

Frank enjoyed a long and successful career as the Boston Celtics’ Athletic Trainer from 1971-1979; he has endless memories and two championship rings. Known for his unconventional training and athlete rehabilitation, Frank was always thinking outside the box so his athletes could go out there and do what they do best. Frank said, “Back then, medicine was not what it is today. We had to rest on our experience, knowledge and intuition.” 

To this day, Frank wears his MedicAlert ID every day – whether it is his custom engraved bracelet or Citizen’s watch. Frank says, “I am fortunate that MedicAlert hasn’t had to save my life, but I know it has saved countless lives of children and adults.” 

That’s why Frank is not only a member, but a loyal donor as well. Giving to MedicAlert is a “no-brainer,” he says. MedicAlert is one of his favorite charities, and Frank tells everyone he can, “If you care about life and the lives of others – write a check to MedicAlert.”