A Web camera in a Norwegian artist's living room in California allowed her sons in Norway and the Philippines to see that she had collapsed and call for help, one of the sons said Friday.
Karin Jordal, 69, collapsed Thursday in her living room in Pinon Hills, California, and was motionless on a couch when her son Tore in the Philippines checked in through the Internet.
"He tried to call her, and got no answer," Tore's brother, Ole Jordal, said by telephone from the western Norway city of Bergen. "He had also tried to call the police and ambulances (in California) but couldn't get through."
Ole Jordal said his brother then called him in Norway, as he and his wife, Tammy, originally from Long Island, New York, were having breakfast.
"My wife is American and she knew exactly whom to call for help," he said. "It took five or 10 minutes for the ambulance personnel to arrive."
He said the family was on the verge of tears when they watched on the Web camera as ambulance personnel assisted their diabetic mother, who is recovering in the Desert Valley Hospital in California.
"I thank that camera and my sons for my life," Karin Jordal told the Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidende by telephone from her hospital bed. She has lived in the U.S. and Spain on and off for the past 15 years.
Ole Jordal said low blood sugar caused his mother's collapse, and that she would be allowed to go home after a few days in the hospital. He said the family set up Web cameras in their homes because of the high cost of staying in touch by telephone when they live so far apart.
"But now I see the Internet as a way to save lives. It's also a wonderful tool for people who live alone in some remote area, and might need help," he said.
The mother had been unconscious for about two hours before her sons checked in, so there was also an element of luck, since they only use the camera a few times a week.