Kim Durkee thought her Apple Watch was busted, and she ignored the abnormal heart arrhythmia warning she had been getting for three days.
For those that don’t know, an Apple Watch can be used as a heart monitor if you turn it on.
“The third night, the numbers went a little too high for comfort,” she said. “Then I said, ‘You know what? Go to the emergency room. If they tell you it’s nothing to worry about, then toss the watch.’”
Durkee was confused because she felt fine and had no other symptoms associated with a heart condition. Durkee was just as shocked as her doctor when she learned that her Apple Watch wasn’t malfunctioning, she was experiencing atrial fibrillation due to a myxoma, a rare tumor that forms in the connective tissue typically in the heart.
“They said ‘Well how did you know you had A-fib?’ and I said ‘Because my watch told me,'” Kim said.
The 67-year-old woman from Maine needed emergency surgery and underwent a five-hour open-heart procedure at Massachusetts General Hospital. Doctors removed a tumor from Durkee’s heart that was about four centimeters in size and growing. Her medical team told her that she would have been killed if it wasn’t for her iWatch.
“I consider myself to be very lucky, to be here and talking to you,” Durkee told WBZ-TV.
Durkee said she originally bought the watch to help her monitor exercise and call for help if she ever fell. She never thought the little gadget would save her life from a rare, deadly tumor in her wildest dreams.
Durkee isn’t the only person to be saved by an iWatch.
A man in California was riding his electric bike in Hermosa Beach when he accidentally fell and was unconscious. The man had set his watch up to alert medical authorities in case he ever took a hard fall.
When police responded, they found him lying on the road bleeding, and he was rushed to the hospital.
An Apple Watch alerted paramedics in Abilene, Texas, after Bayla Belle Christianson tripped over the hotel room dresser and knocked herself out.
“And I actually knocked myself completely out. And so I was not moving for over a minute. And what happened was my Apple watch, I had just set up fall detection this Thanksgiving, even though I’ve had this for about a year, and because it didn’t move because it detected the hard fall. And then I didn’t move for 60 seconds. It actually called 911.”