5 True Stories of iPhone Apps That Saved a Life

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We’ve heard stories of people tracking down criminals thanks to Find my iPhone. How about Apps saving people’s lives? It’s happened a few times, and the stories are amazing. While we wouldn’t recommend simply relying on an App to save any life, we will say that when people are left with little to no options, some have found ways to turnaround an otherwise deadly situation.

Let’s take a look at some of the times iPhone Apps have been used to save lives: 


1) iPhone App Saves Life of Haiti Earthquake Victim 

Everybody remembers the horrible tragedy that was the earthquake in Haiti. One story that made its way around the internet in early 2010 was that of a man who was trapped in rubble, but used an iPhone app. Dan Woolley was an aid worker who volunteered his time was trapped underneath rubble

“I had an app that had pre-downloaded all this information about treating wounds. So I looked up excessive bleeding and I looked up compound fracture.”

The App he used had information on CPR from the American Heart Association as well as information on how to treat his wounds as well as how to keep himself from succumbing to shock. He then used set his iPhone’s alarm clock to go off every 20 minutes and keep him awake. Though the battery ran out, he was able to train his body to stay awake and it turned out to be just enough to save his life.


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2) Kayakers Found Thanks to GPS App

Two couples on a kayaking trip ended up meeting some severe weather. After hours of fighting currents, getting separated and becoming totally lost, one of the kayakers decided to use his phone and call the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard had trouble finding the vacationers at first, but being that he was the traveling type, he happend to have an App called Basic GPS and was able to give them his exact coordinates. That was enough to help the Coast Guard find both parties within minutes. Otherwise, they could have been out there for days. At worst, they never would have made it home.


3) Coach Saves Student’s Life with iPhone App

During basketball practice on the day before Thanksgiving, a teen by the name of Xavier Jones stumbled and fell down. The high school senior’s heart had stopped and he wasn’t breathing.

Luckily, his coaches, Eric Cooper and John Osorno were able to get him breathing again by administering CPR. Just by chance, Coach Cooper had been reading up and refreshing himself on CPR with an iPhone App called iPhone Aid. Given, all coaches are trained in CPR, but since the information was again fresh in his mind, he was able to administer CPR quickly. Things could have been worse, and just before Thanksgiving as well. Luckily, good fortune, or whatever you want to call it, was in these guy’s hands and things turned out much better than they could have been. 

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Photo credit: Panix.com

4) Doctor Saves Life By Amputating Arm

To be fair, this wasn’t an App Store app–it was the stock Messages App for SMS. Still, the story is amazing. Keep in mind that the fact that the man with the iPhone was a trained surgeon had a lot to do with it.

While visiting the Congo in Africa, a British surgeon by the name of David Nott had to perform some lifesaving techniques on a boy whose arms were ripped off in what was likely to be a hippo attack (Yeah, those bastards are meaner than they look) had become gangrenous. The infection meant he would die within days if not treated.

Fortunately, the surgeon was able to text a colleague by the name of Meirion Thomas who happened to be one of the few surgeons in the UK with knowledge of the difficult process of removing the collar bone and shoulder blade. With a lot of luck, and help from his friend, Nott was able to save the life of the boy and monitor his condition through recovery.

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Things could have ended up much worse…

Photo Credit: Red Truhitte


5) Boaters Again Saved by GPS App

Yet another story of travelers nearly being lost at sea. This time it was a boater and his brother-in-law doing some fishing and a bit of drinking. Unfortunately, a few things went wrong, and none of them involved alcohol (in case you were wondering): Their on-board GPS failed, weather and visibility took a turn for the worst, and their fuel was running low. They were also in danger of bottoming out their boat in low water thanks to the tide.

Luckily, he had an App called Boatie, which helped them pinpoint their GPS location. They were able to find their way to the harbor thanks to the App. While it doesn’t seem they were in too much danger, their being lost could have easily turned into a panic. People do irrational things when they panic. Luckily, it never got that far and they were able to find their way to safety.


On Lifesaving

Once again, we can’t say that we would trust a 99-cent App with a human life. However, when put in a bad situation, some people have found that their iPhone Apps made the difference between life and death. It’s an experience we hope we never have to encounter, but if someone found in one of these situations is able to rescue or be rescued, it’s worth something.

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