One of the best things about Words With Friends (aside from making Alec Baldwin look like a raging blowhard) is that it hooks you up with gamers from across the planet. You can meet people you never would otherwise, learn words and phrases from faraway lands, and maybe make a new friend or two. Oh, and maybe —just maybe— you’ll wind up saving a life, which is what happened over the weekend.
Missouri-based Beth Legler has been playing Words With Friends against Georgie Fletcher (who lives in Australia) for a while now. The two women were matched up over a year ago and quickly formed a friendship outside of the game, since they had a lot in common; they emailed each other regularly and reportedly even had real-time conversations via Skype.
As the friendship progressed, Georgie revealed that her husband Simon was having some serious health issues. It turns out that Simon had collapsed and gone to the hospital, but blood tests had all come back normal. In mid-November, Beth started to get nervous when she didn’t hear from her friend for a few days.
“For me, it was an intuition that I hadn’t heard from her,” Beth told MSNBC. “That was when she wrote me back, and as an RN, I sprung into action and wrote back right away.”
It turns out that Georgie’s husband was now so fatigued that it was a challenge to walk outside to the mailbox, an alarming turn for a man who used to take hour-long walks with his dogs. In addition to the fatigue, Simon was also experiencing burning in the back of the throat.
Beth talked to her husband, Larry, who happens to be a doctor practicing family medicine. Larry believed that Simon could be suffering from angina, and Beth sent off an email to Georgie saying that Simon should take an aspirin and immediately go to the hospital in order to get checked out.
Georgie was out shopping with her husband when she read the email on her phone. She followed her friend’s advice and got her husband to the hospital, which likely saved his life: Doctors examined him and found a “99 percent blockage near his heart.”
Simon has since undergone surgery, receiving two stents. The man is understandably grateful towards Larry, telling Kansas City’s KCTV that “I’ve gotta buy that man a beer, he saved my life … I’d really like to put my arms around him and give him a big squeeze.”
Beth, meanwhile, is still stunned about how a meeting through a casual game managed to eventually lead to saving someone’s life: “All of thistechnologycan serve the good or the evil and where you choose to go with that is really a personal decision. But it does say, one person can make a difference. That game means more to us than it could ever mean, a starting off point for a friendship that will last for all time for the four of us. The goal for us is to meet.”