Health Scare Squashed Thanks to Skype
Employee experiences a seizure while on a Skype call. Luckily, her coworker got help there fast.
Imagine waking up and seeing a person in head-to-toe scrubs, face shield, mask, pants tucked into boots, and having no recollection of what happened or how you got to the hospital. And all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That was Michelle Beedle’s reality recently. She started having seizures around age 40, but it had been about two years since her last episode. She mistakenly thought she was in the clear. Michelle lives alone, but luckily when this seizure occurred, she was on a call with her colleague, Bre Martin.
The two have worked together for almost a year as administrative assistants at State Farm®:. The friendship and camaraderie could easily be heard between the two.
“Bre Martin is my Yoda. She's my go-to girl. Bre knows where to find the answer. She's the most experienced on our team. She holds all that knowledge and doesn't mind sharing it,” Michelle said.
Their team has a daily morning call, and afterward, Michelle pinged Bre asking to get on an individual call because she wasn’t feeling well.
“Michelle called me and I started rambling, and then all the sudden I could tell the headset had fallen and there was a rumbling. I know she has cats so maybe, I thought, she had gotten up to get one of them,” Bre explained. “I remember saying ‘Michelle, Michelle?’ And she wasn't answering. It dawned on me that she probably had a seizure. She'd been vocal about the seizure she had a couple years ago. I was afraid she had fallen and hit her head.”
So Bre called 911 on her cell phone while continuing to stay on the Skype call with Michelle. Luckily, Michelle had the idea to gather all their team members’ addresses a short time before her incident, so Bre knew where to send the ambulance when she called.
Since Bre knew Michelle’s history with seizures she was able to provide that important information to the dispatcher.
“I stayed on the Skype call and I stayed on with the dispatcher. I heard the knock on the door from the paramedics, then I heard her speak. It was the first I had heard her speak in about 10 minutes. She said ‘hello, who is it?’ She sounded disoriented.
“I was so grateful I was on the call with her.”
Their manager reported the incident to HR so Michelle’s emergency contact would be notified.
Michelle has no recollection of the event, but was light-hearted about it.
“Most important lesson is even if you're sheltering at home, it might be a good idea to put your clothes on every day. I was in a nightgown. I since have put my clothes on every day,” she said with a laugh.
“The hospital staff was so kind and so nice. I wasn't there for COVID or anything like that. It's the people observing it and taking care of you who get the brunt of the seizure and it's scary.”
Both Michelle and Bre said communication is key during this time.
“I've been trying to check in with everyone a little more frequently. If I hadn't been on the phone with Michelle we wouldn't have known. Who knows how long she could have been laying there?” Bre said.