(CBS) Words with Friends, the online word game, provided a lifeline for one man living on the opposite side of the world.
Beth Legler, of Blue Springs, Missouri, began playing Words with Friends more than two years ago on her cell phone, reports KCTV CBS 5 in Kansas City. That's when she met an Australian couple named Georgie and Simon Fletcher of Queensland, Australia.
One day during a game, Georgie told Beth that Simon was feeling under the weather, so Beth asked her to describe his symptoms, since Beth's own husband, Larry, was a doctor.
When hearing that Simon was experiencing fatigue so severe that he couldn't walk to his mailbox and burning in the back of his throat, reports MSNBC, Dr. Legler had some words of advice for his wife's online friends: get to a doctor immediately.
Legler thought Simon was experiencing angina, a condition that occurs when your heart doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. That causes pressure or squeezing in the chest, but could cause pain elsewhere in the body like in the shoulders, arms, neck, or back. What usually causes angina? Heart disease.
Simon was reluctant but went to the doctor, and as it turns out, Dr. Legler was right: Simon had a 99 percent blockage in his artery and was on death's door.
Simon had two stents implanted through emergency surgery, and has recovered. "I owe Larry everything," Simon told KCTV. "I'm really lucky to be here."
Said Beth, "It's been a wonderful experience to have had made some great friends and know that Simon is well because of a word game."
Heart disease, or coronary artery disease, occurs when the heart's arteries become clogged or narrowed from plaque buildup, obstructing blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body. Known as atherosclerosis, clogged arteries increase the odds of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
WebMD has more on heart disease.