The Web Chat That Saved Mom's Life

When Karin Jordal's son hooked up a Webcam in her California home a month ago, the 69-year-old artist and mother of two considered it a novelty. With one son living in the family's native Norway and another headed to the Philippines, Jordal though at best the $50 gadget would allow her to keep in touch with her boys via the Internet without running up the phone bill. Instead, it saved her life. On Wednesday Jordal, an insulin-dependent diabetic who lives alone, was online chatting with her son Tore when her blood sugar took a dive. She told him she was going to have a bite to eat, and said goodbye. But before Jordal could get to her fridge, she fainted. A few hours later, from across the world in the Philippines, Tore glanced at his computer, which was still logged on to the Webcam. He noticed his mother passed out on the sofa. He tried phoning--she didn't stir. So Tore called brother Ole in Oslo, who contacted emergency services, and the siblings--several oceans apart--watched online as paramedics resuscitated Karin Jordal. "It was unbelievable. I woke up and thought, how did all these people get in here?" says Jordal, who is doing fine after a short hospital stay. "I'm going to have it on all the time now."