Help desk picks up widow's plight

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BACK ONLINE: Muriel Cavallaro got emergency service from her Wellington-based Internet provider.

by Regan Horrell
Reprinted with permission from Hawkes Bay Today 7 January 2004

  A computer "help desk" phone line has taken on a whole new meaning for a Napier widow.
  Muriel Cavallaro was making a call for computer help to Wellington-based Internet provider Actrix Networks Ltd about 1pm on Monday when she fell from a chair.
  "I was on the floor and I couldn't move," Mrs Cavallaro said.
  "I kept yelling out that I've had a fall."
  Mrs Cavallaro's plea for help was answered when an Actrix staff member called an ambulance. Another staff member kept her calm until help arrived about 20 minutes later.
  She said she had a tender back from the fall and was taken to a Napier health centre and later discharged.
  Mrs Cavallaro, an epilepsy sufferer, had since returned to the chair to send an e-mail to acknowledge her on-line helpers.
  "I could have been (on the floor) for days. I've got no end of praise for those guys."
  Actrix sales and marketing manager Dave Harding-Shaw said Mrs Cavallaro had been unable to reach the handset of her phone and was pleased staff had acted beyond the call of duty - "We like to pride ourselves on our service."
  Mrs Cavallaro described the computer as her "lifeline" after her husband's death 2 years ago and had no intention of letting the fall put her off.
  "It won't stop my Internet work," she grinned.