Old woman who collapsed while hiking saved by three words

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An elderly woman who collapsed while hiking in the Scottish Highlands was rescued by an emergency app, which led paramedics to her using just three words.

Anne Hodgson, 84, was walking on a birthday trip to Loch Morlich in Scotland, UK, with her daughter Lynn Evans, 58, when she started having chest pains.

Evans, from Bridgend, South Wales, UK, said the couple did not get far in the May 18 march before her mother, a great-grandmother of three , don’t say she couldn’t go any further.

Evans figured the pains might be a side effect of his mother’s blood pressure issues and quickly found a bench to rest on.

Anne Hodgson and her daughter Lynn Evans on a hike near Loch Morlich, Scotland, May 18, 2022. Anne and Lynn were celebrating the 84th birthday of Anne, who collapsed during the walk and was rescued thanks to an emergency app.
SWNS/Zenger/what3words

But when Hodgson, from Whitby, England, sat down, she lost consciousness and started sliding off the bench.

Evans called an ambulance and was able to give them his location using the geocoding app “what3words”, which gave him the unique location code of “steers, whistles, distracts”. The app assigns each 3 x 3 meter square a random, unique name that can be entered into compatible GPS search engines.

The emergency team was able to immediately locate the pair with the three words and Lynn said they arrived “surprisingly quickly”.

Civil servant Evans said: “Before the pandemic my mum planned a wonderful 80th birthday trip with my brother which had to be postponed for obvious reasons.

“They’ve tried to reschedule him several times over the past two years, but in the end their schedules didn’t line up, so I offered to take him to celebrate his 84th birthday instead.

“I live in South Wales and I drove all the way to North Yorkshire, where my mum lives, to pick her up.

“The next day we made the six-hour journey to Loch Morlich.

Anne Hodgson hiking what3words
Anne Hodgson on a hike near Loch Morlich, Scotland, May 18, 2022. Anne and her daughter Lynn Evans were celebrating the 84th birthday of Anne, who collapsed during the walk and was rescued using an app emergency. The emergency team was able to immediately locate the pair with the three words and Lynn said they arrived “surprisingly quickly”.
what3words/SWNS/Zenger

“She has ongoing health issues, including her blood pressure, so I made sure to arrange reasonable activities for her to participate in, such as low-level walks.

“It was a glorious day in Loch Morlich, which we all know is not typical of the Highlands, so we felt very lucky to do this scenic drive that day.

“We started at the beach and then headed down a wooded path.

“We hadn’t really gotten very far when my mom started grabbing her chest and saying, ‘I can’t go any further, I can’t do this.’

“I thought it might be a side effect of his blood pressure issues, so we turned around and found a bench.

“I told her we could sit down and take a break, but when she sat down she lost consciousness and started sliding off the bench.

“I was trying to get her to come back while holding her on the bench, when I spotted four people enjoying the view by the water.

“People came to help me as I called for help.

“I called the ambulance which was fantastic.

“They asked us to keep my mum’s legs above her head, and one of the women supported her when she lay on a narrow bench.

“I assumed the ambulance knew our location based on GPS coordinates and my vague descriptions of our surroundings.

“Myself and one of the gentlemen helping decided to run to the watersports center for help and to make sure the ambulance would get through the closed forest road that my mum had collapsed on.

“Once we left the area where my mum was, the ambulance lost our GPS coordinates, and they specifically asked for a what3words address.

“The gentleman I was with called his wife who was helping my mother, and she provided the address in three words, ‘directs, whistles, distracts’.

“We called the ambulance, and immediately they said ‘I know exactly where you are’ and they got there incredibly fast.”

Anne Hodgson what3words hiking collapse
Anne Hodgson on a hike near Loch Morlich, Scotland, May 18, 2022. Anne and her daughter Lynn Evans were celebrating the 84th birthday of Anne, who collapsed during the walk and was rescued using an app emergency. Hodgson was taken to hospital where doctors performed tests and discovered a heart problem, but she was later released.
what3words/SWNS/Zenger

Hodgson was taken to hospital where doctors performed tests and discovered a heart problem, but she was later released.

Evans said she heard about what3words and saw an ad for the app on TV, but didn’t think she would ever need it.

She has now downloaded it and told her friends to do the same – and said Hodgson was very impressed when she discovered it.

Evans said: “It’s strange, until something like this happens you don’t necessarily think about escape routes, but now I see how important it is.

“Before the incident, I had heard of what3words and seen the TV advert, but didn’t think it was something I would need.

“Now I’ve done some research, downloaded it, and told my friends to do the same.

“I spoke to my mum about it, she seemed very impressed, although I’m not sure how much she really understood.”

Produced in association with SWNS.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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