Apple Watch alerts man to serious heart condition, gives him 'new lease on life'

Gaston D'Aquino, 76, had angioplasty surgery after his watch sent him an alert.

May 12, 2018, 10:02 AM

Saving a life -- there's an app for that.

Hong Kong resident Gaston D’Aquino, 76, told ABC News he got “a new lease on life” after an alert from his Apple watch last month that resulted in surgery to unclog his arteries.

“I was in church on Easter Sunday when I got an alert from my watch that I had an elevated heart rate,” said D’Aquino, who is a diamond trading consultant.

He said he felt fine but decided to go to the hospital just to be safe. After a series of tests, the doctors informed him that his coronary arteries were almost completely blocked.

“Out of three main arteries, two were blocked and one was 90 percent blocked,” D’Aquino said.

Prior to this incident, he’d never had any serious health emergencies.

PHOTO: This screenshot shows elevated heart rate alert from Apple smartwatch.
This screenshot shows elevated heart rate alert from Apple smartwatch.
Gaston D'Aquino

The day after he received the test results, D’Aquino underwent angioplasty surgery to unclog the arteries.

“Considering the fact that I had only 10 percent use of one artery, if I hadn’t gone to the hospital, it could have ended really badly,” said D’Aquino.

D’Aquino was so grateful that he even sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook in early April, thanking the Apple watch for saving his life.

To D'Aquino's surprise, Cook replied, writing, “Gaston, I’m so glad you sought medical attention and you’re fine now. I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. It inspires us to keep pushing.”

D’Aquino told ABC News that he simply input his age and weight into the health app on his watch to get the notification.

D’Aquino wants others to know how helpful the watch can be.

"It is my wish that more people are made aware of what the Apple Watch can do in alerting people of impending serious medical conditions,” he told ABC News. “It can, as in my case, save their lives.”

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