Surgeon Diagnoses Friend's Appendicitis Via Facebook

A British surgeon saved his former classmate's life by deducing from the friend's Facebook that he had appendicitis.

File this one under awesome: a long-lost acquaintance of 30-year-old Peter Ball saved his life.

When Rahul Velineni, a 30-year-old British surgeon working at Swansea Hospital, logged onto his Facebook account in the middle of his shift, he noticed that his former classmate, Ball (pictured) kept complaining about a sharp pain in his stomach.

But Velineni did what any good Samaritan would do: he offered his advice. But in true Facebook-fashion, he replied to Peter’s status update with a comment. “Sounds bad, Call me asap. You may have appendicitis,” he posted, according to U.K. newspaper The Sun.

It took Ball a day to notice Velineni’s post — presumably he was distracted by the pain — but when Ball finally did he realized that he needed to get to a hospital as soon as possible. His appendix was removed shortly after in the emergency room.

He told The Sun, “The doctors said it was bad, and shouldn’t have been left for much longer.” And regarding Velineni, Ball said, “We hadn’t seen each other for ages. I owe him a drink.”

You owe him more than that, pal!

This isn’t the first time Facebook has helped save lives. Last December, a girl in Minnesota got a new kidney from a kind stranger found via a Facebook post. Also, a Wisconsin patient’s status updates supplied her doctors with enough information to get her the right diagnosis.

It is nice to focus on the positive effect that Facebook can have on the daily lives of average people. When you think about it, people like Ball and Velineni continue to build a meaningful relationship that would’ve probably been lost otherwise. In this case in particular, a weak-tie kind of Facebook connection ended up saving someone’s life.

“It’s a funny way to get back in touch, that’s for sure,” Velineni said.

Do you have a serendipitous Facebook story to share?

Photo courtesy of The Sun.