Alexa Helped Saved a Woman’s Life After Deadly Bee Stings

A swarm of bees next to a home.
Sushaaa/Shutterstock

In Uniontown, Ohio, Sarah Norton found herself in danger of losing her life after getting stung ten times by bees. A single sting could have killed her, thanks to a bee allergy. But thanks to her family, an EpiPen, and an Echo Show with Alexa’s Drop-in feature, she survived.

As Norton explains it, a single bee sting can kill her. Her body doesn’t swell up like most people: Instead, her blood pressure “bottoms out.” She was working in her garden and encountered an underground beehive. She suffered at least ten bee stings.

Norton made her way inside and asked her children for help retrieving Benadryl. But her motor skills were already suffering, and she had trouble dialing her husband on the phone and pouring a glass of water. She did manage to dial her husband but shortly after passed out.

The family has an Echo Show, an Alexa device with a screen. Norton’s husband used “Drop-In” to initiate a video call through the Echo Show. Alexa’s “Drop-In” feature lets you start a call with a single smart speaker or smart display without anyone needing to answer on the other end. The call just starts, and the recipient can hang up when they finish. That instant connection differentiates it from Alexa’s standard “calling” function, which requires someone to answer on the other end.

Thanks to that instant connection, Norton’s husband coached their children and a neighbor through turning her on her side, finding an EpiPen, and administering it. By that point, she had turned blue and was foaming at the mouth. Thanks to the camera, microphone, and speakers on the Echo Show, he could see and interact with the people helping.

Sarah says she carries EpiPens everywhere she goes now but having an instant coach available through the Echo Show saved her life. Without it, her children and neighbors might not have known what to do and how to do it.

Alexa’s “Drop-in” feature is off by default for privacy reasons, but our sister site How-To Geek has a walk-through to get it up and running.

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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