Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Did The iPhone Save This Oklahoma Man From Freezing To Death?

The iPhone is a versatile device, but can it save lives? A Tulsa, Okla., man says his abuse-resistant iPhone let him call for help after he was knocked into a pond by a falling tree and left lying on the ground, freezing and wet, with a broken foot.

A man signing his name "Rik_GuitarStudio" said on Apple's support forums that he was cleaning up after an ice storm knocked down trees in his yard. He was working on a river birch when a nearby tree fell and knocked him into a pond.

He found himself neck-deep in freezing water, with "this weird intense pain in my foot." He knew it was broken. "I jumped out of the pond as fast as I could and laid there to recover from the pain for a moment," he wrote. He then retrieved his iPhone from a pouch on his belt and called inside to his wife, to let her know to call 911 because his leg was broken.

The ambulance arrived soon afterwards, and neighbors gathered. At least one neighbor became ill after seeing his injuries. The ambulance took him to the hospital, where they said he'd broken a bone in his foot and dislocated it. He returned home with six screws in his foot.

Rik wrote: "Thank you, iPhone, for working for me in this situation. [It] saved me from [laying in the yard] in agonizing pain until someone came by! Yes, it got wet, yes, I know my warranty is gone, but it's worth it knowing this phone worked. I am buying another one for the wife."

I cleaned up some of the grammar and spelling of Rik's post. "I am on pain medicine from my leg, so please excuse the wording!" he said.

It's probable that the iPhone saved Rik from really serious harm -- maybe even death from hypothermia. Based on the phrasing of his letter, Rik's wife was probably at home, not too far away, the whole time. But she might have gone hours before checking up on him, while he lay on the ground, cold and wet, and dying of hypothermia.

Likewise, it's probable that many other phones would have worked just as well in the same circumstances. But he didn't have one of those other phones -- he had an iPhone.

Tune in tomorrow for our article on "How The iPhone 'Fixed' The Family Dog And Reversed Male-Pattern Baldness."

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