There are many innovative new medical prevention and emergency apps helping people live healthier lives. However, handheld mobile devices have been saving lives long before apps had been invented, from being indispensable tools in daring rescues to stopping bullets. Here are seven astonishing true stories where phones have actually saved their users’ lives.
1. Athlete injured in middle of nowhere
Racing through the forest on her bike, Leigh Fazzina noticed she was off the official triathlon trail, completely lost in unfamiliar rugged, hilly terrain, and totally alone. She flipped over a root, and made a long, chilling descent downhill, which totaled her bike and crushed her shoulder. She pulled out her blackberry, but had no signal, and couldn’t call anyone. Desperate, she found her Twitter app worked! After sending an urgent tweet to her followers asking for help, emergency services found her within just 18 minutes.
2. A single text saves 15 people from human trafficking
London-based charity Help Refugees was able to rescue and free Ahmed, a seven year old boy, and 14 others kidnapped by human traffickers, when he texted for help from inside a locked shipping container.
3. Drunken student gets horrifically impaled on fence spike
Manchester native Jamie Collings would have surely died but for his mobile phone, reported Manchester Evening News. Collings was out having some drinks with friends when he decided to walk home alone. He was more inebriated than he realized and tried to jump a six ft. high fence, impaling himself on three spikes through his groin and leg in the process. He could hear his own blood dripping on the concrete below as he fumbled with his phone, dialing emergency services. A horrifying experience, but because of his trusty smartphone he is alive to tell his story.
4. Emergency call saves a man’s life – a call made BY HIS DOG
When Kevin Weaver collapsed with a seizure, his trained service dog Belle was the only one around. Unfathomably, Belle took Kevin’s phone and bit the numbers “9-1-1,” successfully reaching United States emergency services. Later on, Belle would receive the VITA Wireless Samaritan Award.
5. Emergency team uses GPS to find a buried earthquake survivor
In 2010, during Haiti’s devastating earthquake, a man lay trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building for five days. Near death, he was able to text for help from a cell phone. Unable to communicate where he was, the rescue team used his phone’s GPS to pinpoint his exact location and save his life.
6. TV cameraman’s phone literally takes a bullet for him
While covering news of war-torn Kosovo in 1998 (when phones were thick, hulking things), cameraman Vaughan Smith was running away from the gunfire with his footage and felt a bump on the side of his stomach, as though he’d been hit by a rock. Later on, he reached for his travel pouch and saw that he’d been shot. Remarkably, the bullet had burst through a ball of rolled-up currency and a packet of cigarettes, and lodged itself in the phone’s battery, leaving Vaughan with little more than a bruise.
7. Cape Town man survives a bullet to the chest because of his phone
In August of 2016, Siraaj Abrahams, resident of Cape Town, South Africa, was mugged right outside the gate of his home. The muggers shot him in the chest at point blank range, took his wallet, and left him for dead. Hours later he awoke and found that his smartphone, kept in his top shirt pocket, had shielded his body from the worst of the impact, taking the bullet meant for his heart.
February 20, 2017
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