March 15, 2012

How Facebook helped to save 8 people's lives

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Last weekend a man's life was saved thanks to modern internet services. This is what happened: One person in Sweden wanted to commit suicide and decided to write about it on Facebook. One of his friends in the US read the note on Facebook and decided to call 112 (the equivalent to 911 in Sweden) through Skype. The Swedish police rushed to his apartment and they had to break in before they found the person unconscious in the apartment. The man's heart had stopped beating, but the police officers managed to revive him, and the man's life was saved.

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This was however not the first time someone was saved by Facebook and other internet services. One other story happened in Salt Lake City in the US. One woman and her 17-month-old baby were held hostages in a house for 5 days. The woman wrote on Facebook that both her and her son would be dead by the morning if not someone helped them. But someone read the note and the police rushed to the house and they were saved.

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The fourth life being saved was a 2-year-old girl with the name Grace. Her mother had posted a picture of her on Facebook. A nurse who was a friend to the family saw the picture but noticed something strange: the girl had white pupils - not red. It was a sign of eye cancer. This turned out to be true, the girl had 2 tumours and she later lost sight in her left eye. If the cancer had not been spotted in time, the girl might not have survived.

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The fifth incident happened when Cindy Lincoln fell and broke her femur. The phone was in another room, but the computer with Facebook was next to her. She posted a 911 call for help, a relative saw the post, and rushed over to her house together with help.

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Peter Casaru, the sixth life being saved, woke up from his bed in Britain and realized that he was almost paralyzed. The battery in his mobile phone had died, but he managed to reach his laptop. He wrote on Facebook:
''Can someone call 999, Ambulance for me, I need one now. I have fractued my back. dtuck ob floor. no phone abd glasses, toucvh typing. please help me."
His friends in the US saw the note, and they called the emergency number in Britain. Soon, the ambulance reached Peter Casaru's home.

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The seventh life being saved was a British teenager who wanted to commit suicide. The 16-year-old boy talked on Facebook with a girl in the US. He said:
"I'm going away to do something I've been thinking about for a while then everyone will find out." 
The girl did not know where the British boy lived, but she told her parents about it. The parents contacted the British Embassy in Washington DC, who contacted Scotland Yard. They knew what the name of the boy was and they knew that he lived somewhere in Oxford. 3 hours after the boy had talked to the girl on Facebook, he was found alive - but had taken a drug overdose.

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The eighth incident happened when a man in the US barricaded himself with a gun - in a backyard shed. He told his wife:
"I'm going to do something to make the cops kill me."
The shed did not have a phone, but it did have a computer and the man had a Facebook account. The police rushed to the place and the hostage negotiator sent a Facebook friend request to the man and he accepted it. They began to talk on Facebook and after 45 minutes, the man gave up and walked out from the shed.

Source: Expressen (in Swedish), Daily Mail, Daily Mail, Gizmodo, International Business Times, Medindia, CBS Local - Tampa

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