Man Buried for 3 Days in Haiti Earthquake Saves Own Life with iPhone Apps

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Dan Woolley, an American who was trapped and buried for nearly 3 days (65 hours, to be exact) when the hotel that he was staying at in Haiti collapsed on top of him, says that he owes his very life and limb to the emergency first aid application that he had on his iPhone, to setting his iPhone to sound an alarm every 20 minutes, and to the flash on his camera.

Woolley, of Colorado Springs, was in the Hotel Montana in Port Au Prince, where he was working for Compassion International, when the devestating 7.0 earthquake struck last week.


Trapped underneath the rubble of the hotel, in an elevator shaft, Woolley realized that he was injured quite badly, and his chances of rescue and survival seemed bleak. But, almost miraculously, he was rescued, alive, after those 65 long hours.

As for the survival part, Woolley fully credits the iPhone application “Pocket First Aid & CPR” by Jive Media, with the fact that he survived despite a very nasty gash on his leg that was bleeding profusely (where the leg was possibly fractured), as well as a gash on the head.

In an interview, Woolley explained that he looked up “excessive bleeding” and “compound fracture” in the ‘Pocket First Aid & CPR application’ on his iPhone, the instructions for which lead to him tearing his shirt to bind his leg, and applying pressure with one of his socks to the back of his head.

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In addition, he says, reading that if he were in shock, falling asleep could be fatal, he set his iPhone to wake him up every 20 minutes.

Woolley also used the flash on his Nikon SLR camera to illuminate his surroundings, and to take pictures so he could know, even in the dark, where was the best place to position himself.

But, it was plain, old-fashioned paper to which Woolley resorted to write messages to his family, whom he believed he might never see again.

 

“Josh – choose the right path every day… if you stumble get right back up on the right path… Don’t just live – change the world, Josh,” Woolley wrote to his son Josh, age 6.

And to his younger son, Nathan, he wrote “Nathan, I’m sorry I wasn’t there to get to know you, but I love your laugh, and I love your smile, and I love wrestling with you.”

Of course we know now that these will not be, by far, Woolley’s last words to his sons. Thank goodness.

A fact that Woolley attributes to, in part, his camera, his iPhone, and Jive Media’s “Pocket First Aid & CPR”.

But really, we think that the lion’s share of Woolley’s survival must be attributed to Woolley himself – his clear-headedness, his ingenuity, his desire to get home to his family, and his faith in himself, and the universe.

The Jive Media first aid app is no longer available, but the American Red Cross has a first aid app that is available for both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.

Want to help the ongoing Haiti Relief effort? You can either donate to Haiti relief by texting a donation from your cell phone, or read this week’s version of our weekly digest to read about our own relief efforts.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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