For most people, FaceTime is a way to keep in touch with friends and family. For one New York woman, FaceTime turned out to be the thing that saved her life.
One afternoon, 58-year old Opokua Kwapong woke up from a nap to the sound of her older sister, Adumea Sapong, calling her on FaceTime. Moments into the video call, Sapong noticed that something was wrong with her sister.
“When I called Opokua she said that she’d not been feeling well and had been feeling tired and was also having some difficulty walking,” explains Sapong.
On her sister’s suggestion, Kwapong tried to take an aspirin. But when she couldn’t pick up a glass of water, Sapong knew for sure that something was wrong. She was able to get one of her other sisters, a doctor, involved on the FaceTime call to see for herself.
“She could hear her speaking and could also tell that her speech was slurred,” recalls Sapong. “We both told her to call for help straightaway.”
Kwapong hung up and called 911. After being taken to the hospital, she was diagnosed with a blood clot in her brain that had caused her entire left side to become paralyzed. Fortunately, because she called 911 when she did, the clot was spotted before it became fatal.
“There is no doubt that FaceTime saved my life,” says Kwapong. “If my sister had not noticed that something was not right, then things could have been so different.”
As she recovers from the blood clot, Kwapong can’t get around as much as she used to. However, because of FaceTime, she can use video conferencing when she can’t travel to fulfill her duties as a food scientist.
“Not only did technology save my life, it now also allows me to live my life,” says Kwapong. “You hear a lot of negative stories about the internet and technology, but I think this is an example of how technology can be a force for good.”