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25 February 2016

Mayday call on Reddit rescues woman having seizure on Skype

An international operation and quick thinking digital community combined forces to get emergency help for a young woman when she had a seizure while talking to her fiancee 13,0000km away via Skype.

Anna Messner was at home in Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon when she saw her fiancée Melody McClelland, from Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island, having a violent epileptic seizure on Skype.

Talking in the Mail Online, Ms Messner told how she helplessly watched on - unable to call a local ambulance for assistance from the other side of the world - as her partner's lips turned blue and her body started to violently shake.

Fearing for Ms McClelland's life, she turned to her brother who posted a 'mayday' call on the New-Zealand Reddit, asking for someone to contact 111 and send help to her fiancée's flat.

Jana Hayes from Christchurch, around 300 kilometres from Ms McClelland's home, initially thought the post may be a prank but decided to call the ambulance after seeing the Reddit account was well-established and legitimate. 

'At first I sat there for a while, wondering if it was real. I didn't want to get a fine from the ambo for calling in something fake,' she told  

Ms Hayes was concerned emergency services would think the call was fake so she told the operator that a friend had alerted her to Ms McClelland's condition and an ambulance showed up at her door a short time later.

Ms Messner could see paramedics knocking on her partner's window and started shouting through her computer to bring their attention towards Ms McClelland.

'She was unresponsive so I started yelling as loud as I could that she was in her study,' Ms Messner told 

Luckily Ms McClelland started to regain consciousness and got up to let the paramedics in. She was taken to hospital and 'checked out fine', citing that she had had epilepsy in the past. 

Ms Messner said she was terrified at the thought of losing Ms McClelland and was immensely grateful that her calls for help had been answered.  

'The entire time I was terrified, I've never felt that terrified before,' she told the New Zealand Herald.

'Sitting there watching her lips turn blue, frothing from the mouth, and twitching violently was the worst moment of my life.'