A young girl, stranded outside the rising waters of Hurricane Harvey, reached out for help and called the U.S. Coast Guard using Apple’s Siri.
Tyler Frank, 14, and her family were forced to move to the roof of their home. Tyler needed medical assistance as she had high fever and suffered a painful attack due to her sickle cell anemia — a genetic disorder of the red blood cells.
Given her condition, she tried to call for help through 911 and social media platforms, but all was in vain. That was when she decided to turn to Siri.
“I was like, ‘Siri’s smart enough! Let me ask her!’” she said.
“Siri, call the Coast Guard,” she ordered the smart assistant.
This time, luckily, her efforts didn’t go to waste and Siri connected her with the U.S. Coast Guard. She shared her details with the agent and explained how she needed medical help and that she and her family had to be rescued as their house was inundated with water.
A rescue helicopter did come for help, but refused to fly them away as they were focusing on the elderly and life-threatening cases only.
“Coast Guard first responders were faced with an overwhelming request for assistance due to Hurricane Harvey. On-scene rescue crews made determinations based upon emergent factors (i.e. immediate, life-threatening situations) and the conditions faced on the scene,” said a Coast Guard official.
Tyler’s condition started worsening as she waited for help and her fever shot up to 103 degrees. Undeterred, she called the U.S. Coast Guard for help again. The following morning, rescuers arrived, and this time, they flew the girl and her family to safety.
The girl’s mother, Tameko Frank, posted the rescue on Facebook.
After several days of treatment, Tyler was discharged from the hospital.
Tyler is a straight-A ninth-grader at Forest Brook High School in Houston. Her sickle cell anemia is a lifelong condition, and an attack associated with the disorder can block blood vessels and cause extreme pain.
“She’s got this great sense of humor. She just made us laugh. It’s so impressive what she and her family dealt with. I don’t think most of us can even imagine,” said Dr. Titilope Fasipe, Tyler’s hematologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, where she is currently receiving her treatment.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Carlo Allegri