“Need help!! Was talking to my bf in Philadelphia (I am in Cleveland OH) when he suddenly started breathing heavily and had trouble speaking and I think he passed out (or had a seizure). Can anybody in Philadelphia please check on him ?? (he has no friends or family there)”
She added, “I have already called the police. But have no way of finding out what is going on.”
“People are such f*****g idiots these days. Call 911,” said one kind soul who may have missed the part where skc11 said she had done so.
“Who the F*** seeks help with a medical emergency on reddit? Seriously,” said another person who later even got into an online argument with the woman, saying “i’d drive eight hours for a loved one. what’s your excuse?” and “Crowdsourcing to see if her friend is okay? If her friend doesn’t call back, there’s probably a good reason. coughstalkercough.”
But overwhelming these gratuitous squawks of Internet snark were responses such as these:
“where does he live? PM me I’m in center city,” said a Reddit user identified as bigsir3333.
“If you need someone around the Northeast, let me know,” said Ghstfce.
“From North Philly here. Lemme know if he needs help!?” said techcenterguy.
“In Northern Liberties. Let me know if you need help,” said robotfoodab.
“South philly, but at work until 6pm tonight. Let me know if you need me to stop by,” said remarkless.
We do know how the story ends – not quite happily, but it could have been worse. Twenty minutes after the woman posted her original message, her friend called back, she said.
“He … says he is covered in blood and does not remember anything,” skc11 said, “and he is pretty much rambling. S***! i am terrified.”
This person had never posted on Reddit under the name skc11 before, and she has not responded to an email from Rittenhoused. But about her whole experience, she said in one post response, “When I see the ratio of people who offered to help and people who think this is a joke, I feel better about society.”