UNIONTOWN, Ohio (WJW) — A Northeast Ohio woman credits a virtual assistant device for saving her life. The woman’s Amazon Alexa came to the rescue after she was attacked by wasps.
The last thing Sarah Norton expected while doing yard work last July was a near-death experience.
“From the moment I got stung to the moment I went down was seven minutes,” she said. “Got like the little handsaw and was trimming the bushes, and then I felt some burning on my hands.” That burning was a swarm of bees from an underground hive.
Moving away slowly, Norton retreated inside. “I went into the garage and realized that I had been stung because I felt burning on my legs and on my back.”
After calling her husband, Norton asked her two young children if they could help get her some Benadryl. “I was trying to get a glass of water and I couldn’t do it…so I knew my motor functions were failing fast,” Norton recalled.
After a few futile attempts to dial her husband back, Norton managed to click on his number. “As soon as I heard his voice I said something’s wrong and with that I went out and I just collapsed.”
Norton says it was the “drop-in” feature on her Amazon Echo Show which helped her husband coach her son and neighbor to help save her life.
“He was able to walk them through getting me on my side; at that point I was blue, foaming from the mouth. He was able to coach them on getting the EpiPens and how to use the EpiPens,” Norton explained.
Paramedics later told Norton that the way her family and neighbor used the Amazon device was crucial.
“That was the first thing that they said, was just that if my husband hadn’t had that quick thinking, I wouldn’t have been here.”
Norton was stung more than 10 times by the yellow jackets, but doctors said the same thing would’ve happened from just one bee due to a rare cell disorder Norton has.
“I don’t react like normal people,” Norton said. “So, I won’t swell, I won’t do that, my blood pressure just bottoms out.”
She says life is significantly different now for her and her family.
“(I) carry multiple Epipens. I don’t leave home without them, even when we’re outside in the yard, they don’t leave me,” Norton said. “Just last week we tried to sit outside, myself and my two kids just reading books and it was a challenge.”
Most importantly, thanks to their quick thinking and some home technology, Norton is alive. “They’re so much more than just playing music or shopping lists or, you know, in our case I’m here because Alexa saved my life.”
Norton’s husband immediately removed the bushes afterward. She says they found multiple hives on their property and a local professor collected them to make allergy shots to help other people.
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