“Words With Friends” Game Saves Life Across the Globe

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. --  A woman playing an online game to pass the time helps save a man's life in Australia.

Beth Legler started playing the game "Words with Friends," a game similar to Scrabble in 2010. Her online partner is a woman in Australia named Georgie Fletcher. When Legler hadn't heard from Fletcher in a few days, she emailed her to see if everything was okay.

Fletcher responded, saying she had been busy and that her husband hadn't been feeling too well.

Legler, being a nurse in Blue Springs, asked Fletcher what was wrong. She learned that Fletcher's husband kept complaining about a burning pain in the back of his throat.

Simon Fletcher said he ignored his symptoms because he thought it was acid reflux. All of his tests came back normal. He had good cholesterol and good blood pressure. Despite that, Fletcher was still concerned for her husband.

"He'd been able to walk an hour with the dogs," Legler said, speaking on information that Fletcher had told her. "Now, he couldn't even walk to the mailbox."

Legler shared Fletcher's concerns with her husband, Dr. Larry Legler, who has been a family physician for more than 30 years.

"Based on those symptoms, I had a real concern that there were something real serious going on," said Dr. Larry Legler. "In his case, time was of the essence and he really needed to get help and Beth relayed that to Georgie."

Georgie Fletcher said when she got the message, she took her husband to the hospital that same day for cardiac tests. That evening, Fletcher said she received a phone call from a specialist saying her husband needed surgery the next morning.

"When he actually had the surgery the surgeon came out and said to me, 'Your husband's arteries were 99 percent blocked, and it's quite possible he would not have survived the afternoon,'" Fletcher said.

Dr. Legler agrees.

"He did have a serious problem," Dr. Legler said. "Fortunately, he got the care he needed, but the outcome could have been very different."

Simon Fletcher credits Dr. Legler for saving his life and urges everyone not to take their health for granted. Simon is in good spirits and says they're now waiting for Dr. Legler's bill.

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