Woman stranded in swimming pool gets help from social media

Town Facebook group comes to woman's aid

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/technology/2016/07/01/102002782-facebook-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqhasgUMiR-rxiRxu9qBoVLQpcDfsC-seRM-lm2nZ7XJA.jpg

An Epping woman turned to social media for help when she got stuck in a swimming pool last week.

Leslie Kahn, 61, is a teacher who spends her summers quilting and swimming. But as she wrapped up a dip in her pool Aug. 11, the ladder broke. She couldn't get out.

"Without something for my feet to get leverage on and without that upper body strength, it wasn't happening," she said.

For a woman who survived breast cancer, hanging out in the pool wasn't a big deal. But with her cellphone inside, no one home and no neighbors in earshot, one hour became almost three.

That's when Kahn thought of her iPad.

"I got the trusty pool pole, dragged the leg of the chair, dragged it over, got the iPad, hooked up to Wi-Fi and asked my community for help," she said.

Kahn logged on to "Epping Squawks," a town Facebook page that always has something going on.

"I started off with 911 and an exclamation point," she said. "I wanted to get people's attention fast."

She said she didn't want police or fire help, just someone to lend a hand or a screwdriver to fix the ladder.

Within seven minutes, a virtual community was responding with ideas, offers and concerns. Soon, a woman from a few streets away showed up.

"I was really glad to see her friendly face, and I sent her inside for the toolbox," Kahn said. "And then the police came and then a neighbor came from up the street because he'd seen the police."

Kahn let her virtual friends know that help had arrived.

She said that the lessons she learned from having cancer hit home that day.

"You get through whatever life throws at you, and you ask for help," Kahn said. "And be prepared to help others, and that's the way life is supposed to work. That's the way community is supposed to work. And in my experience, it does."

Thisa rticle was originally written by Jennifer Crompton and appeared here.

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