A 14-year-old girl who suffered from a painful attack associated with sickle cell anemia was rescued from Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters in Houston after using Apple’s Siri technology to phone the U.S. Coast Guard, according to CNN.
Tyler Frank and her family were forced to flee to the roof of their home after waking up Aug. 27 to find the house inundated with floodwater, the network news outlet reported Monday. After failed attempts to summon help through 911 and social media, the teen turned to Siri.
“I was like, ‘Siri’s smart enough! Let me ask her!’” Tyler told CNN.
“Siri, call the Coast Guard,” she told CNN she demanded of her phone. After getting through, Tyler provided her family’s location and explained that she was in pain and needed help. Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disorder of the red blood cells, and attacks — known as sickle cell crisis — can block blood vessels and cause extreme pain.
A Coast Guard helicopter showed up at the Frank house the following afternoon, but rescuers reportedly left after explaining to the family that rescue operations were focusing on the elderly and those in life-threatening situations.
“Coast Guard first responders were faced with an overwhelming request for assistance due to Hurricane Harvey,” the Coast Guard told CNN in a statement. “On-scene rescue crews made determinations based upon emergent factors (i.e. immediate, life-threatening situations) and the conditions faced on the scene.”
Later that day, Tyler — who by then was running a fever of 103 degrees — again called the Coast Guard using the personal assistant technology. Rescuers arrived the following morning and flew Tyler and her family to safety.
Tyler’s mother, Tameko Frank, filmed the rescue via Facebook Live.
Tyler was discharged from the hospital Friday, after several days of treatment.
“She’s got this great sense of humor. She just made us laugh,” Dr. Titilope Fasipe, Tyler’s hematologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, told CNN. “It’s so impressive what she and her family dealt with. I don’t think most of us can even imagine.”
Read CNN’s full story here.