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When Mobile Phones Save Lives

Mobile phones; most of us have them these days, even the ‘golden oldies’ in the family are jumping onboard and beginning to text. They are a valuable tool in staying in touch with each other whether at home, school, on a night out or even on holidays abroad. However many of us have been caught out  when using our mobile phones abroad by not actually understanding how much calls and texts can actually cost. Many a cheap last minute holiday has suddenly become very expensive a month later as the phone bill lands on the doormat, with a very heavy thud. Believe me it’s much cheaper to take the time to walk to a shop and send an old fashioned postcard!

It’s hard to imagine, especially for the younger generation, how we communicated before mobile phones were invented. Well we spoke to one another for a start, and we called round to see people, but ironically, however antisocial mobile phones appear to be, they do have their uses, some are quirky, some are amusing and some are actually life saving.

One US girl was so pleased to be doing her bit for the people of Haiti after their devastating earthquake, that she shared the news with her friends on social networking site Facebook. She informed them that she had sent numerous texts to an appeal set up to help the stricken islanders; her pleasure with herself was short lived however when they informed her that every text sent was actually costing her $10. The joy on her parents face was probably even shorter lived when she revealed she had actually sent 180 messages to the appeal!

Another unfortunate young ‘texter’ escaped relatively unharmed, if a little smelly, when she fell down an open sewage drain while texting as she walked.

Another case of not paying attention whilst texting happened to a young man who should actually have been paying attention to his driving rather than his phone as he ploughed his truck into an unfortunate family’s swimming pool, a slightly cleaner outcome than the last poor girl though.

Perhaps the luckiest person to benefit from test messaging though is a 16 year old teenage boy from Africa. British vascular surgeon David Nott was volunteering in the Democratic Republic of Congo when he was faced with performing a life saving operation on the boy who had severe injuries to his left arm. Mr Nott needed to perform a forequarter amputation involving the removal of the remainder of the arm, the shoulder blade and the collar bone. He had never performed such an operation before and contacted Professor Meirion Thomas at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital, the professor sent step by step instructions via text message to the daring doctor, and the operation was a complete success with the teenager making a miraculous recovery.

So for all mobile phones appear to be having an adverse effect on society by  making us more antisocial as a nation, it has to be said, that with stories such as the last one and the ease of being able to call emergency services almost instantly, they have to be classed as a very essential accessory in everyday life.

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