Chances are that you have used Siri on your iPhone to check the weather or to get directions. But Siri proved to be a much more useful personal assistant during a recent crisis caused by Hurricane Harvey.
A 14-year-old girl, Tyler Frank, woke up on August 27 to her house flooding with water. She, her three brothers, and mother had to get to the roof for safety. But Tyler had a fever and severe pain due to her sickle cell anemia. Her older brother carried her on his back to the roof, but when the young girl was exposed to the elements, she began to experience a sickle cell crisis. According to Tech Times, “A person suffering from such a crisis can experience pain worse than childbirth, as red blood cells clog up the blood vessels and cut off some parts of the body from receiving oxygen.”
The family attempted to call 911 for help, but to no avail. That is when it occurred to Tyler to use Siri to reach for aid.
Tyler activated Siri and said, “Call the Coast Guard.” A rescue helicopter then arrived on Aug. 28, but did not yet take Tyler and her family off their home’s roof, as the priority for that day were the elderly. Tyler again used Siri to call for help from the Coast Guard, and the next morning, another helicopter arrived to take her and her family to safety.
Tyler was eventually transported to Texas Children’s Hospital, where she received treatment for her sickle cell crisis. She and her family are now thinking about how to pick up the pieces after they lost everything to Hurricane Harvey.
While Siri has recently faced intense competition from Alexa on the Amazon Echo and from the Google Assistant, the virtual personal assistant certainly came through during a serious crisis for the Frank family.