A British surgeon has saved his long-lost friend's life by diagnosing him with appendicitis, via Facebook. 30-year-old Rahul Velineni logged on the social network in the middle of his shift and saw posts from his former schoolmate, 30-year-old Peter Ball, complaining to his friends about a sharp pain in his stomach: "I'm in agony with stomach pains and I'm walking like an old man."
"Sounds bad, Call me asap. You may have appendicitis," Velineni wrote, according to The Sun. The medic did not have his old friend's phone number because they had lost touch, so he used the website to message him from the Swansea Hospital. Ball read the alert next day in Cheshire and had his appendix removed in an emergency operation in Macclesfield before it could kill him.
"We hadn't seen each other for ages. I owe him a drink. The doctors said it was bad, and shouldn't have been left for much longer," Ball was quoted as saying. It had already burst; he could have died of peritonitis. Velineni added: "It's a funny way to get back in touch, that's for sure." If you want to hear more about what the two have to say about the story, the BBC News has a short video interview with them.
Facebook isn't just about stalking former boyfriends and girlfriends; every once in a while it can change someone's life, or in this case, save it. Ball and Velineni may end up becoming close friends once again, but even if they don't, they definitely will not forget this little episode.