'The Internet is my hero, it saved my life'
By Bev Holzrichter for CNN
Bev Holzrichter, right, says the Internet saved her life. She now gets help from a friend, Anita Bertling, left, during foaling season.
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(CNN) -- Bev Holzrichter, 56, runs a horse stable in Charlotte, Iowa. When she found herself badly injured by one of her horses and unable to move last year, it was Web cam watchers who called for help.
You would be amazed at how many people are interested in watching the foaling season online. We have a live video stream of our stables on all the time.
We've always had cameras in the barn, and decided to put a stream on the Internet in 2000 because so many people want to share the joy of horses giving birth. I get well over a million hits a year and would say several thousand people could be watching at any one time.
My husband is a truck driver so he's seldom at home and on this particular day -- it was a Friday -- he wasn't due back until Monday.
Last year during foaling, one mare called Sierra, seemed to be having a lot of trouble with the birth. I could see on the camera that she was in a lot of pain and she wasn't expelling the after birth.
This normally happens within an hour of giving birth but two hours had passed so I walked into the stables to check on her. I was on a portable phone, talking to a friend, Wendi, who was in California.
I hadn't realized it but another mare, Nifty, had broken down the top half of her door and had gone into Sierra's stable, wanting to steal her baby.
As I entered, Sierra was trying to defend her foal and kicked me three times and knocked me over. I couldn't get back up. Sierra is normally a gentle horse but this was her natural instinct.
In the meantime, people were watching on the Web cam. We have a chat room and a message board on the site too. Wendi got back online and told people in the same state as me to call 911.
People from Germany, the United Kingdom, France -- all over the world had phoned the Charlotte Rescue Squad. When the emergency services arrived 45 minutes later, they were very confused about why they had received calls from all over the world about me.
I don't know what would have happened if it wasn't for the Web cam. I damaged my knee and my leg very badly. My temperature had dropped and I was in body shock by the time help arrived.
The Internet is my hero. We hear so many bad news stories about the Internet and about Web cams but this has such a happy ending.
Those people watching are the ones who helped me. If it wasn't for the technology of the Web cam, I'm not sure when I would have been found or what would have happened to me.
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