A sick girl stuck with her family in their flooded home due to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey was able to call for help using Siri.
Apple's Siri, which has faced increased competition in the digital personal assistant space with the Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, helped the girl contact the Coast Guard to pick them up and fly them to safety.
The Story Of Tyler Frank And Siri
Tyler Frank, a 14-year-old-girl suffering from sickle cell anemia, was running a fever and in great pain at the height of Hurricane Harvey's onslaught.
In the early morning of Aug. 27, Tyler, her mother, and her three brothers woke up to floodwater rising up inside their home. Joseph, Tyler's oldest brother at 18 years old, carried her on his back up to the roof, as 16-year-old Brayland did the same for 8-year-old Jaquarus.
Tyler and her family went through great effort to call for help, as the sick girl started to experience a sickle cell crisis as she was exposed to the elements. A person suffering from such a crisis can experience pain worse than childbirth, as red blood cells clog up the blood vessels and cuts off some parts of the body from receiving oxygen.
Calling 911 was unsuccessful, as was asking for help through Facebook and Instagram. Tyler then had the idea of asking Siri for help, and Apple's personal digital assistant delivered.
Tyler activated Siri and said, "Call the Coast Guard." A rescue helicopter then arrived on Aug. 28, but did not yet take Tyler and her family off their home's roof, as the priority for that day were the elderly. Tyler again used Siri to call for help from the Coast Guard, and the next morning, another helicopter arrived to take her and her family to safety.
Tyler was eventually transported to Texas Children's Hospital, where she received treatment for her sickle cell crisis. She and her family are now thinking about how to pick up the pieces after they lost everything to Hurricane Harvey.
Apple's Plans For Siri
With its role in rescuing a sick girl and her family now among its credentials, Siri is set to reach even greater heights, as Apple continues to work on its digital personal assistant.
Apple recently tapped its operating systems chief, Craig Federighi, to become the new head of Siri, taking over from content chief Eddy Cue. The move comes just as Siri is set to once again take the reins as the iPhone 8 digital assistant and as the driving force behind the upcoming HomePod smart speaker.