Apple Watch saves two men who each needed heart surgery to survive

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Apple Watch saves two men who each needed heart surgery to survive
Two Apple Watch users who had their lives saved by the Apple Watch recently were talking about how the device saved their lives. Both families ended up sending a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook explaining what happened, and both received timely responses from Cook. The first story comes out of Wichita, Kansas via ABC affiliate KAKE (via 9to5Mac). Nick Gallegos purchased an Apple Watch for his dad, Michael as a gift. One day, the watch showed that Michael's heart rate was below 40 beats per minute for over 10 minutes and since they use Family Sharing, Nick received a duplicate of that notification.

One night, with his dad sleeping, Nick received a notification saying that his dad was experiencing an unusual heart rhythm. Feeling that there was something definitely wrong, Nick took his father to the ER where he was diagnosed with a heart condition that required him to undergo surgery for a pacemaker. As it turned out, receiving the Apple Watch was a timely gift. How timely? Doctors told Michael that he would have died soon had he not received the pacemaker. He says that he feels like a new man.

Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to an email from the Apple Watch user's son in under two hours


"They said that I was pretty lucky. And, you know, good choice for my son for getting me the watch," Michael said. "Because, you know, I would have never known. It would have been too late. It's like somebody just turned a switch on. And you know, I've got more moves than the Energizer Bunny I think."

Nick sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook one day at 12:30 pm and by 2 pm he received a response that read, "Hi Nick, I’m so glad your father sought medical attention and received the treatment he needed. Thanks so much for sharing his story with us. Please give him my best. Tim. Sent from my iPad Pro."

The next story comes out of Asheville, North Carolina where once again the local ABC affiliate had the story. Christopher Oakley, 61 years old, was rushed to the ER on August 21st, 2021, after his chest felt a little funny, he was nauseous and he felt out of breath. But at the ER he had time to calm down a little and the doctors didn't see anything unusual during an examination. They were about to send him home when Christopher remembered that his Apple Watch recorded his heart rate.

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"I went, 'Wait a minute, wait a minute; I have a watch that records my heart rate,'" Oakley said. "It showed that my heart had been racing at 121-151, something like that, all night long. So, they took that information into account, which was lifesaving for me because two days later, two or three days later, I was having double bypass surgery…emergency double bypass surgery."

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Christopher, feeling thankful for having another shot at life, sent an email to Tim Cook that said, "I just really appreciate all the work you and your folks have put into this in order to create a product that not only tells you the time but also saves your life.

Cook responded: "Christopher, Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m so glad you received the treatment you needed. Be well. Best, Tim. Sent from my iPhone." The Apple Watch has such an amazing track record when it comes to saving lives. And it tells you something about Tim Cook that he took the time to respond to the letters he received.

In 2024, we could see the next iteration of the Apple Watch take on sleep apnea, a serious condition that causes breathing to stop and start while sleeping, and hypertension which is also known as high blood pressure. Apple continues to make its smartwatch a must-have device for those who like to have their health monitored throughout each day.

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