Chris Thomas, 28, of Pittsburgh credits Facebook for saving his life on July 15, 2015.
On July 15, Thomas, an Army veteran who has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, fell from his wheelchair. Thomas was trying to get to the bathroom when his wheelchair caught the edge of a tall box in his bedroom. There was a heavy shelf in the box, and it landed on Thomas’s legs, tipping the wheelchair over. As Thomas fell, he hit the back of his head hard on the linoleum floor. When he tried to get up, he hit his head again. In the next hour, Thomas slipped in and out of consciousness.
“I would black out, then wake up, then slip out of consciousness again,” Thomas told The Huffington Post.
Thomas could not get back on his chair and no one in the assisted living facility where he lives responded to his calls for help.
“I screamed for help a few times but I live at the end of the hall and I couldn’t quite reach my string to hit my alarm for the guard,” Thomas said.
However, Thomas had one source of help. He could reach his smartphone, which was on and logged onto the Facebook app. Thomas posted an odd, incoherent status update which caught the attention of his friends. His friends, knowing something was wrong, quickly took action. Out-of-state friends contacted in-state friends, some not even knowing each other.
Their efforts were successful; Thomas received a text message from his friend, Brad, telling him that the EMT was on the way. Thomas was treated overnight at the hospital and later discharged.
Facebook, “came to the rescue,” Thomas said. “I had a box on me and was knocked out. Once I was found, I ended up OK. Certainly if I was there longer, it could have gotten worse. I am grateful that help came sooner rather than later.”