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Man sees wife’s dying message
Ontario, N.Y. -- After a week of trying, a local man was finally able to view a video his wife left him before she died.
Charles Wachals wife, Shannon, died on Valentines Day at age 26 after a lifelong battle with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). Before she died, Charles said his wife pointed him to a video message that she recorded for him and his daughter, Abigail Grace. She explained it was uploaded to Facebook and Charles simply had to log on to her account to view it.
Last week, when Charles tried to do just that, he found that Facebook had memorialized his wifes account after determining she had died. That status mean the account would remain locked and all of Shannons privacy settings would remain exactly the same, meaning Charles could not locate the video.
The story went viral online and Facebook contacted Charles this weekend to say it could not unlock his wifes account and did not locate a video posted to it. Wachal said since the company wouldnt let him view the account for himself, he was left to take Facebook at its word.
Then he figured out how to access the video through the iCloud that backed up data from his wifes old cell phone on which the video was originally recorded.
"I guess iCloud is set up to automatically backup, which, if it wasn't the technology we have available today, it would've been gone, said Wachal. "What I found was simply amazing -- videos, all of the videos she posted on YouTube to our daughter, the video to myself.
Wachal said he didnt want to share the specific contents of the video, but it was a powerful message he looks forward to showing his daughter one day.
"It's given me so much comfort to see the wisdom that she had, explained Wachal. It brought a lot of peace and strength. It's hard to explain hearing your wife tell you everything is going to be OK. I know that you're going through a hard time and that losing somebody so close to you hurts but it's going to be OK.
Wachal also found other photos on his wifes iCloud account and even a book that she was writing about her life.
"She told me that she had been writing this, but I'd never actually read it myself or actually ever seen it, so in retrospect, no, I really didn't know it existed, explained Wachal. My wife actually started writing a book of her life story told through a third person.
Facebook remains in touch with Wachal. He said that as recently as Tuesday morning the companys representative was receptive to his ideas about how Facebook could change its memorialized pages status.
Basically, I explained to them that something that they could set up could be similar to a healthcare proxy where someone could select who they want to have access to their account if they were to pass, said Wachal. Facebook actually really liked the idea that I gave them and hopefully it's something that they will look into implementing in the near future.