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Safety on the line

Your regular support is helping Red Cross keep elderly and isolated Australians safe and happy in their own homes.

When 88-year-old Betty suffered severe vomiting and internal bleeding, there was no one nearby and she was unable to call for help.

Betty's situation was critical. But thanks to you, she knew help was on the way as soon as her phone rang, even though she couldn't get up to answer it.

Betty has lived alone since her husband passed away, and although she sometimes gets lonely, she loves her independence and being surrounded by lush rainforest, trees and birds. But on the morning of her illness, Betty's isolation meant she could have been in real trouble.

"I had this dreadful diarrhoea, vomiting, bleeding and I was sitting on a chair in the bathroom and I was semi-conscious," Betty explains. "I just sat tight and dozed and, you know, cried a lot. This was when I really felt alone."

But thanks to supporters like you, Betty wasn't alone.

Last year in Australia, around 600 elderly or isolated people like Betty received daily Telecross phone calls to check on their wellbeing.

When Betty didn't pick up our phone call that morning, Red Cross got in touch with her emergency contact, Christine, who went to Betty's home and called an ambulance. Christine says Betty was very unwell and would not have coped much longer, let alone the several days it may have taken for someone else to take notice.

"It could have been nearly four or five days, you don't know," says Christine. "When we found her she was breathing shallowly. She was not in a good state at all."

Each year Red Cross supporters help hundreds of people who are ill or injured and do not answer their Telecross phone call. Your regular gift makes sure thousands more are supported to live independently in the familiarity of their own home, knowing that if something should happen, Red Cross will send someone to check on them.

"I rely on that phone call and, as you well know, it probably saved my life on that particular occasion," says Betty. "I'm always glad to hear the phone ring!"

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