Surgeon gives life-saving diagnosis, via Facebook

Surgeon gives life-saving diagnosis, via Facebook

Summary: Rahul Velineni helped saved the life of his long-lost friend, Peter Ball, in a touching story of Facebook and appendicitis.


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.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: Surgeon gives life-saving diagnosis, via Facebook

    Nice! If it was in the US probably he died by now. No insurance!!! Free health care doesn't have anything to do with socialism, it is a right in my country. Appendicitis it's common and it is simple surgery. By the way, socialism, uuuuuuuuuu so scare!!!!
    • Wow....

      @nuno_perdigao@... You do realize that federal law prohibits hospitals from not treating someone because of their ability to pay, or lack thereof. Technically the patient has to stabilized but especially in this case the only way to stabilize an appendicitis like this is by an appendectomy.
      • RE: Surgeon gives life-saving diagnosis, via Facebook

        @safesax2002 right, they emit the invoice later! Insurance is bad deal, companies want to pay to a dentist 5 euros for a treatment, something that costs at least 40!,... i mine, bad deal for us, getting bad treatments and paying too much for a bad service. Appendectomy in central hospital =0? health is priority and is therefore that we pay taxes
    • RE: Surgeon gives life-saving diagnosis, via Facebook

      @nuno_perdigao@... Anyone who wants socialism has never leaved under it. Keep your political crap to yourself and get a job with health insurance like the rest of us. Save your money, as well, instead of expecting it for nothing in return.

      - Former Hungarian Freedom Fighter against socialist/communist forces.
      • Socialism

        @SanyiKiss Nuno's message was pro-free healthcare, not pro-socialism, in fact he specifically said he didn't see it as a matter of socialism.
  • RE: Surgeon gives life-saving diagnosis, via Facebook

    I had an emergency appendectomy two years ago. I was having symptoms, but I couldn't get my doctor, his backup, or the emergency nurse to call me back (after repeated calls over a 5 hour period). I was going to go to bed, planning on going to the clinic in the morning. I then used Wikipedia to self-diagnose my problem and went to the hospital. They operated on me at 1:00 am.
  • RE: Surgeon gives life-saving diagnosis, via Facebook

    This is a great story, let's not get political with it.