Apple Watch Helps Two Men Needing Heart Surgery to Survive

What you should know

  • Two Apple Watch users reported that the device’s health monitoring features helped save their lives by alerting them to serious heart conditions.
  • Both users sent letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook detailing their experiences, and received responses from Cook expressing his relief that they sought medical attention in time.
  • In one case, the Apple Watch alerted a man’s son to his father’s unusually low heart rate, leading to a diagnosis of a heart condition that required a pacemaker. The doctors said the man would have died soon without the intervention.
  • In the second case, a man was about to be discharged from the ER when he remembered his Apple Watch had recorded his unusually high heart rate. This led to him undergoing emergency double bypass surgery.

Full Story

Two Apple Watch users recently shared their life-saving experiences with the device. Both sent letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook detailing their stories. In response, Cook promptly replied to each.

The first story originates from Wichita, Kansas. Nick Gallegos bought an Apple Watch for his father, Michael. One day, the watch indicated that Michael’s heart rate was below 40 beats per minute for over 10 minutes. Thanks to Family Sharing, Nick also received this notification.

One night, while his dad was asleep, Nick received an alert. The watch detected an unusual heart rhythm. Sensing something was seriously wrong, Nick rushed his father to the ER. Michael was diagnosed with a heart condition that needed immediate surgery for a pacemaker.

The Apple Watch proved to be a life-saving gift. Doctors informed Michael that without the pacemaker, he wouldn’t have survived much longer. Now, he feels rejuvenated. “They said that I was pretty lucky. And, you know, good choice for my son for getting me the watch,” Michael said.

Nick emailed Tim Cook about this incident. Within two hours, Cook replied, “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.”

The next story comes from Asheville, North Carolina. Christopher Oakley, 61, felt strange one day – his chest was odd, he was nauseous, and breathless. He rushed to the ER. After calming down and being examined, doctors found nothing unusual. They were about to discharge him when Christopher remembered his Apple Watch’s heart rate records.

“I went, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute; I have a watch that records my heart rate,'” Oakley said. His heart had been racing at 121-151 all night. Taking this into account, doctors realized Christopher needed help. A few days later, he underwent an emergency double bypass surgery.

Feeling grateful, Christopher emailed Tim Cook. He wrote, “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 replied, “Christopher, Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m so glad you received the treatment you needed. Be well. Best, Tim.”

The Apple Watch has an impressive record of saving lives. And it’s noteworthy that Tim Cook takes the time to respond to such letters personally. It’s more than a time-telling device; it’s a life-saving gadget.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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