Cancer patient's experiment shows how Facebook can save lives

Reporter:

Kate Forrester

A CANCER sufferer carried out a groundbreaking experiment to see if Facebook could save his life.

Gary Morgan, of Bagillt, is preparing to produce a film about the life-saving potential of technology after he was “rescued” by Facebook users.

The 50-year-old, who has suffered from stomach cancer since September and has had his stomach and part of his bowel removed, has daily blackouts.

He decided to begin a social experiment on Facebook and posted a message saying he had collapsed at his keyboard, could not reach a phone and needed help.

Within two minutes he had received several calls and texts from strangers and within four minutes the news had reached his son – who knew nothing of the experiment.

He said: “I black out about once a day.

“The doctors do not know what is causing it yet and I am on my own nearly all the time during the day because my son is at work.

“I have about 2,000 friends on Facebook and I don’t know all of them, so I decided to see what would happen if I said I was in urgent need of help.

“The first message I posted was to say I was doing a social experiment, then I posted the distress call about an hour later.

“I filmed the whole thing and I was amazed by the response we had.

“It takes a lot to decide to call a stranger’s mobile and my son found out about it within minutes.”

Gary has posted his film on video sharing site YouTube and is planning on making more films about life-saving technology, despite the fact he is still undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment.

He added: “I’m working with Flintshire Council to try and organise a demonstration about all the gadgets that can help disabled people, including watches, alarms and 999 text messaging services.

“I’ve also set up a website aimed at supporting fellow cancer sufferers.

“I want to do something to help other people and I think the internet and sites like Facebook can be a great support to those living alone with disabilities or illnesses – it certainly has been for me.”

To watch Gary’s video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v= VdA2rW_Lb7c.

See full story in the Leader

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