Apple Watch saved my life: 5 people share their stories

That night, no one noticed that Toralf Ostwang had fallen and hit his head on the bathroom floor, except for his Apple Watch. Casey Anderson used her watch to get out of her car after her near-fatal accident left her and her 9-month-old baby trapped inside. For Heather Hendershot, the only warning sign that something was seriously wrong with her body came from her wrist.

These stories and others have one thing in common. When Apple CEO Tim Cook first announced his Apple Watch in September 2014, he said it was the most personal device the company had ever created. That wasn’t an exaggeration. Since its launch, Apple Watch has served as a fitness coach, health monitor, and way to stay connected (Apple is rumored to announce of apple watch series 6 very soon). And for some, it was more than that.

For these people, it even changed their lives.

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Toralf Ostwang

Toralv Østvang, 68, Oslo, Norway

Longtime tech reporter Torav Ostwang has tested his Apple devices, but none have made as big of an impact as the Apple Watch.

In February 2019, Ostvan was staying with friends in the suburbs of Oslo, Norway, where he lives.he was wearing his own apple watch series 4 I went to bed that night to test my sleep app, but then things started to get blurry. He doesn’t remember falling later that night, and he doesn’t remember going back to bed.

“The first thing I remember was lying in bed and having a terrible pain in my head,” Ostwang said.When I touched my face, I felt blood. ”He drifted in and out of consciousness, but woke up to find a lighted room and three police officers standing over him.

Around 4 a.m., when I got up to go to the bathroom, my blood pressure suddenly dropped. He passed out and landed on his face on the bathroom floor. His fall triggered the Apple Watch’s fall detection feature (a new feature in Series 4). This feature detects a severe fall and automatically calls emergency services if he detects no movement after 1 minute.

“No one heard me fall,” he says. “My friend and his wife were not told anything until a police car came to the door.”

Alerted, local police were able to contact the wife and give her the full address of where her husband was staying.

“They could see the GPS coordinates of where I was, but they couldn’t tell exactly which apartment I was in,” Ostwang says.

Paramedics immediately took him to a nearby hospital. He suffered three fractures to his face and his jawbone was compressed. Although he is cautious about saying that the Apple Watch saved his life, he does admit that it saved him from having to have surgery.

“They say it’s important to get to the hospital as soon as possible,” Ostwang says. “The reporting and the police response were very quick.”

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Casey Anderson, 26, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

It was a rainy Friday night in Maryland, a few days before Christmas, at the peak of rush hour. Casey Anderson was on her way home with her 9-month-old son Parker in her backseat when she stopped at a busy intersection along the highway. Her husband was a few cars behind her.

“I was actually looking out the window when all of a sudden I felt a huge force on my left side,” Anderson says. “My face hit the steering wheel, it came back and hit the front of the headrest, and then I was sent forward into the side window.”

They were hit by a drunk driver going 102 miles per hour.

“My first thought was, ‘Is Parker going to be okay?’ I heard him scream,” she says. “I could smell gas leaking inside the car, but I couldn’t see it at all.” She reached for her phone to call for her help, but the accident sent everything flying into the air and she couldn’t find it. I couldn’t. As she was searching, her hand bumped into her wrist and she remembered that she was wearing an Apple Watch. She digitally pressed her crown and said, “Siri, call 911.”

By the time my husband arrived at the accident scene, an ambulance had already arrived. “They were able to find out where I was without me really knowing,” Anderson says. “It’s a busy street so no one could have gotten close to the car.”

It took more than a year for Casey and her son to fully recover from the injuries they sustained in the accident, but she says the situation could have been much worse had they not received help at that time.

She later wrote a letter to Tim Cook, thanking him for saving her from that disaster with the Apple Watch. She was contacted by Apple to feature her story along with others in her Apple Watch Real Stories campaign later that year.

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Heather Hendershot

Heather Hendershot, 27, Pomona, Kansas

Heather Hendershot, 26, thought she didn’t have to worry about her health. She was young and athletic, and she had no previous medical conditions.

One night, after putting the kids to bed, I was sitting on the couch with my husband when I heard a beep on my Apple Watch. When she looked below her, she saw a notification that her heart rate was over 120 beats per minute.

“I couldn’t feel my heartbeat, so I thought my watch must be wrong,” she says. “I never felt like anything was wrong.”

In 2017, Apple Watch added high heart rate notifications to let users know when their heart rate exceeds a certain level. Hendershot’s heart rate continued to rise throughout the night, but he still didn’t experience any symptoms. The next morning, her husband insisted that she visit the emergency clinic as a precaution.

During their stay, they conducted tests for strep throat and influenza. Both results came back negative, but his heart rate was very high so we decided to monitor him further.

“It wasn’t until I heard the doctors mentioning the ICU that I realized how serious the whole situation was,” she says.

Doctors diagnosed her with hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. If left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications.

“I’m not one to randomly check my heart rate,” Hendershot says. “So we’re confident that we wouldn’t have been able to detect it without the Apple Watch.”

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Jason Saucier

Jason Saucier, 45, Orlando, Florida

Jason Saucier hadn’t been feeling well for the past few weeks, but he didn’t realize how serious it was until his Apple Watch sounded an alarm.

“As soon as I put the watch on, it made a sound I had never heard before,” he says. “I looked down and it said I had Fib.”

In addition to high heart rate warnings, the watch also tells you if your heart rhythm is indicative of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a type of heart disease that can increase your risk of stroke and other serious heart complications.

Despite some shortness of breath, he went to work that morning and continued to receive the same warning throughout the day. It wasn’t until some of his co-workers pointed out that he looked ghostly white that he finally decided to go to the emergency room.

“As soon as I got there, the cardiology team came to me and told me I was in near-cardiac arrest,” Saucier said.

Doctors confirmed what the watch was telling him and confirmed he had Fib. They kept him in the hospital overnight, but he eventually came out of non-atrial fibrillation and was able to be discharged the next day.

Exactly a week later, the same notification popped up on his Apple Watch.

“I came home from work, ate dinner, sat on the couch, and I couldn’t breathe,” he says.

This time, Saucier listened to the clock and quickly returned to the emergency room. He had been in aFib for three days, and doctors kept him in the hospital for two more days to monitor his response to a new heart drug.

He hasn’t received any alerts from his Apple Watch since the second episode in September 2019. He blames the new medication, but continues to use an Apple Watch to monitor his heart.

“It’s like a security blanket,” he says. “I think that’s probably going to be with me for the rest of my life, and it’s good to have this watch to monitor it.”

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George Cometiani before weight loss.

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George Cometiani, 32, Brooklyn, New York

George Cometiani had been steadily gaining weight for years, but it wasn’t until his 30th birthday that he realized his nearly 300 pounds were starting to take a toll on his health.

“It was difficult to walk up the stairs. My knees started clicking from the pressure,” he says. And then came the snoring.

Doctors at the time warned that if he didn’t lose 30 pounds, his snoring, which was affecting his sleep, could get worse and require medical intervention.

So he decided to try losing weight. He started by changing his diet, replacing his usual takeout with healthier options. He was amazed at how quickly he lost his first 30 pounds, but he also lost muscle mass, which was unintentional, and his snoring didn’t go away.

“This is where the Apple Watch comes in,” he says.

Cometiani started paying close attention to her exercise ring, making a conscious effort to close it every day (the red dot on her Watch that shows how many calories she burns). exercise challenges It pops up on his screen. For example, the day after a tough workout, his Apple Watch will help him match the previous day’s success. He repeated it over and over again.

“This helped me understand how much effort I needed to put in each day,” says Cometiani. “These little things from an unbiased, detached perspective really help.”

Within a year of starting her health kick, Cometiani lost 100 pounds. His snoring disappeared along with other health problems such as joint pain, back pain, and headaches. And he was very happy.

“I don’t realize how many weight restrictions there are around me…I couldn’t even ride a roller coaster,” he says. “I feel like I can do anything now.”

These stories are just what I’ve learned from people I’ve talked to, but a quick Google search will reveal many more just like them. In September 2018, ZDNet writer Jason Parlow shared his own experience using an Apple Watch after it detected that he had Fib.

My own mild health anxiety was detected by my Apple Watch. In October 2018, I was testing the ECG function When used with the Series 4 and a medical electrocardiogram from the University of San Francisco Medical Center, both devices showed rapid heartbeats. Although it turned out to be harmless, Dr. Gregory Marcus at UCSF Medical Center advised us to continue to be careful.

If you or someone you know has been affected by Apple Watch, please share your story with us in the comments section below.

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