Jean rescued on the Internet
By Mary Mann
WHEN Jean 'Chatty' Younger's head hit the floor she thought her life was over.
But an Internet chat room came to the rescue.
The 71-year-old diabetic, a self-confessed chat room fanatic, was socialising with her online friends after dinner when she was overcome with a wave of dizziness.
The Ballina woman was only able to type five words, 'I feel sick and giddy', before she fell from her chair and landed hard on the floor of her living room.
Jean lay cold and scared, with visions of not making it through the night rushing through her mind.
Meanwhile her regular online friend Trish, in England, frantically tried to call Jean after receiving the message. When there was no answer she became worried and called Jean's daughter, Maureen Younger, in Goodna, Queensland.
Jean had given her daughter's phone number to Trish in case she was ever unable to reach Jean at home.
Maureen then called Jean's neighbour Edna, who called Triple-0 after knocking on Jean's door and realising something bad had happened.
"I could hear the phone ringing, and hear messages coming through on my computer but I couldn't move," Jean said.
"I was really scared. But then the police came and broke through the kitchen window. They let the ambos in, who took me to hospital."
Jean said her blood sugar levels had got out of control, which had caused her to faint.
"I'm very glad to be alive, believe me," she said.
"I don't think I would have survived all night on the floor, and nobody would have known I was there. It's just a miracle the chat room helped me."
Jean, known as Chatty by her Internet pals, has been 'chatting' for the past two years. Her daughter's friend showed her how to get online and she's been a fan ever since.
She spends about four hours online each day. "We talk about politics, general chat, and swap recipes," she said.
"I'd heard nasty things about chat rooms, like they were rude and about sex. You just have to be careful when you choose a room."