Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Power of Facebook

Last month, after a call from a reporter doing a story on technology, I decided to join Facebook.  Instantly, I found a whole boatload of people I went to high school with.  (OK, it's not that hard, there were 585 people in my HS graduating class).  

But, I was able to connect with some friends who I see regularly now.  So last Tuesday morning I go to post a birthday wish on a friend's wall.  I see a note from her brother, saying, for updates on Martha go to . . . a blog he had set up.

Turns out over the holiday weekend she became severely ill and was in a medically induced coma on life support.  She came close to death a few times.  She is a mother of four -- two are the same age as mine and friends at school.  She and I practiced law together.  

By the power of Facebook, and yelling out the window at car line, I was able to spread the word.  By 8:30 Tuesday evening, a month's worth of meals had been organized for the family.  Emails blasted through.

Now, on Sunday, a week after she was admitted to the hospital, she is off the ventilator and regaining consciousness.   More than 10,000 hits have been counted on her blog set up by her brother with updates.  More than 250 comments have been left for her on a special comments site.

This couldn't have happened five years ago -- it may have been more than a week before anyone found out about her illness.  

Too often, Facebook is used for stupid stuff -- what we had for lunch, etc.  But sometimes, it's value cannot be measured.

Continue to recover, Martha!  We'll keep praying. 

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