So many tragic stories coming out of the Hurricane Harvey disaster as of late, but this one below is one with a silver lining. Thanks to the iPhone Siri app, that is!
Stranded in a Hurricane Harvey flood, Tyler Frank, 14 years of age, sick and in pain, was desperate to find help for her family and herself. She dialed 911 and failed to get any assistance. Social media platforms Instagram and Facebook didn’t help either. So, the teen decided to turn to the all-knowing I-phone app, Siri.
By simply asking Siri to call the Coast Guard, Apple’s personal assistant provided the rescuing help that Frank and her family needed.
And it all happened just in time. You see, the teen has sickle cell anemia, a genetic disorder that needed attending to promptly. When the hurricane hit, her illness turned into crisis-mode, clogging the youth’s blood vessels where oxygen couldn’t reach all the regions in her body.
According to the National Institutes of Health, this crisis can cause pain that is worse than that of childbirth. Exposure or trauma can launch a crisis and Tyler was dealing with both.
On August 27th, Tyler’s mom, herself, and three brothers woke up in the early morning hours to find water within their house, soon after it almost leveled over her head. Her oldest brother, 18 years of age, carried her to the roof, while the next oldest brother, 16 years of age, took their baby brother, aged eight, to the house’s rooftop. Tyler only had a towel for warmth and all too soon, that got wet.
It was at this point in time that Tyler reached out to Siri to call the Coast Guard. She was able to give the man on the other end the coordinates of where her family was. She also told them she was sick and terrified for her life. A helicopter would show up the next afternoon.
One of the rescuers from the helicopter spoke to Tyler and asked if anyone was sick. Tyler was running a fever of 103 degrees at that point. While Tyler’s mom relayed that there was a need to take her teen daughter, the rescuers stated that they were only grabbing the elderly at that point in time, got back in the helicopter, and left the family … Tyler included. Tyler’s mom began to cry.
Coast Guard released a statement relaying that their first responders had an overwhelming number of requests when it came to Hurricane Harvey assistance. The rescue teams assessed rescue efforts on scene conditions and emergent factors.
Still, despite being left behind, Tyler was relentless. She called the Coast Guard number given by Siri once again. Thankfully a helicopter landed the next morning and took the grade nine student to safety.
Doctors in Pasadena Texas first took a look at Tyler and then she was sent to Houston’s Memorial Hermann hospital. She would then go to Texas Children’s Hospital, a healthcare facility that has been taking care of her and her condition since Tyler was a baby.
CNN reported that the good news is, Tyler has since been discharged from the hospital. She is currently sharing a Super 8 hotel room with her family. They don’t have a home right now and no belongings except clothes that have been donated. As her mom relays, everything is gone, including their car and house. They will have to start over …
Still, more importantly, at least the family has their health and each other. One good story to come out of the disaster that recently struck Houston and surrounding areas.