Apple Watch credited with saving woman’s life after unnoticed ‘widow maker heart attack’

The Apple Watch has again been credited with helping to detect a user’s potentially life-threatening heart condition. As first reported by local news outlet WZZM 13, a woman in Michigan says her Apple Watch alerted her to an abnormally high heart rate, sending her to urgent care where an EKG revealed she had had a recent heart attack without realizing it.

Diane Feenstra recapped the situation in an interview with WZZM 13, saying:

The day in question, April 22, I had 169 beats per minute heart rate even though the most vigorous exercise I had done was to walk up 12 steps. So I called my husband at work and said do you think this is concerning? And he said call your doctor.

At the local urgent care center, doctors performed an EKG, which revealed that Feenstra had recently had a heart attack without realizing it.

Unlike men who feel an elephant on their chest many times, a woman’s symptoms are very different. I had pain going down my left hand, I had a little swelling in my left foot, I had indigestion that I just explained away as acid reflux that I was experiencing as I got older. The biggest thing was pain in my shoulder and I figured I had vacuumed and put my muscles out of whack somehow.

Feenstra then visited Meijer Heart Center, a clinic located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Here, additional testing uncovered that Feenstra had a full blockage in the widow maker artery, and she had a stent procedure done to rectify the situation.

Now, Feenstra is touting the Apple Watch as a life saver after having originally received it as a birthday gift:

It’s such an easy thing to see what your heart rate is, had I not done that that morning, who knows, but I may have had another heart attack that would have been fatal.

WebMD has more details on what a widow maker heart attack is, noting that it can be one of the deadliest kinds of heart attacks — particularly when it occurs outside of a hospital.

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