UNIONTOWN, Ohio (WJW) — The last thing Sarah Norton expected when she went to do some yard work last July was a near-death experience.
“From the moment I got stung to the moment I went down was 7 minutes,” she said. “Got like the little handsaw and was trimming the bushes and then I felt some burning on my hands.” That burning was a swarm of bees from an underground hive.
Moving away slowly, she retreated inside. “I went into the garage and realized that I had been stung because I felt burning on my legs and on my back.”
After calling her husband, she asked her two young kids if they could help get her some Benadryl. “I was trying to get a glass of water and I couldn’t do it…so I knew my motor functions were failing fast.”
After a few futile attempts to dial her husband back, Sarah managed to click on his number. “As soon as I heard his voice I said you know something’s wrong and with that I went out and I just collapsed.”
Sarah says it was the “drop-in” feature on her Amazon Echo Show which helped her husband coach her son and neighbor to help save her life.
“He was able to walk them through getting me on my side, at that point I was blue, foaming from the mouth. He was able to coach them on getting the EpiPens and how to use the EpiPens.”
Paramedics later told her the way her family and neighbor used the Amazon device, she works for the company, was crucial.
“That was the first thing that they said. Was just that if my husband hadn’t had that quick thinking, I wouldn’t have been here.”
Sarah had been stung over 10 times by the yellow jackets, but doctors said the same thing would have happened from just one bee due to a rare cell disorder. “Because I don’t react like normal people. So, I won’t swell, I won’t do that, my blood pressure just bottoms out.”
She says life if significantly different now for her. “Carry multiple Epipens, I don’t leave home without them, even when we’re outside in the yard, they don’t leave me.”
And her family. “Just last week we tried to sit outside, myself and my two kids just reading books and it was a challenge.”
But most importantly, thanks to their quick thinking and some home technology, she is alive. “They’re so much more than just playing music or shopping lists or, you know, in our case I’m here because Alexa saved my life.”
Sarah’s husband immediately removed the bushes afterward. She says they found multiple hives on their property and a local professor collected them to make allergy shots to help other people.