When the Haitian earthquake hit on January 12th, it trapped American documentary filmmaker Dan Woolley among the collapsed walls of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. One of his legs was badly hurt. Luckily, Woolley was packing his iPhone.
At first, Woolley used the phone’s camera flash to illuminate the space in which he was trapped in near dark, and to take flash photos that let him study his surroundings. He was able to spot an elevator shaft in the photos, to which he made his way to wait in hope of rescue.
Then, he says, he remembered that he had an app called Pocket First Aid & CPR, a $3.99 download created by the American Heart Association. Sure enough, Pocket First Aid instructed him on how to dress the compound fracture in his leg, as well as scrapes on his head.
Most important, the app told him that falling asleep in his condition could be fatal. Woolley set his phone’s alarm to ring every twenty minutes. Thanks to a fully-charged battery, he was able to stay awake — if jittery — for most of the 65 hours that passed before a French rescue team discovered him.
In the video below, Wollery reads from a notebook in which he asked his family, “Don’t be upset at God. He always provides for his children.” There are people who say that about Steve Jobs, too.