76-Year-Old Gaston D'Aquino Latest to Say Apple Watch Saved His Life

Gaston D'Aquino says the Apple Watch saved his life. By sharing his story, he hopes it can help save the lives of others too.

gaston daquino apple watch

Photo Credit: South China Morning Post

According to the South China Morning Post, the 76-year-old was sitting at church when his Apple Watch alerted him to his elevated heart rate. Having read similar stories before, he went directly to a local hospital.

"I told the doctor I don't know why I'm here, but my watch tells me I have an elevated heart rate," said D'Aquino. "He says, 'Are you feeling anything?' I said no, I feel fine, I'm feeling all right, nothing's wrong."

After an electrocardiograph machine indicated something was wrong, doctors conducted tests and discovered that two out of his three main coronary arteries were completely blocked, with the third 90 percent blocked. Of course, that means he was at risk of suffering a potentially fatal heart attack.

D'Aquino said he had visited a cardiologist before, who had prescribed him daily medication for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, but there was never any indication that there were any deeper issues.

applehealthiphonewatch
After the doctors shared the test results with him, D'Aquino quickly agreed to have an angioplasty, a procedure to restore blood flow to the heart by implanting tiny stents in clogged or blocked arteries. He was sent home the following day and said "it went well and I'm feeling much, much better."

"Having a new lease of life is a good thing," he said. "You wake up the next morning and you look around you, everything looks more beautiful. It's a great feeling; you're on a high for a few days. That feeling is something special."

As a self-professed Apple fan, D'Aquino sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook in early April. In recounting his story, he noted that "this was the first time that my watch alert had ever gone off, but I was not feeling anything, no dizziness or pain" and added that "in short, I was a walking time bomb."

"Please continue promoting the use of the Apple Watch for anyone with cardiac problems. I lost a cousin two weeks ago to a massive heart attack, and if he had an Apple Watch, he might have had the same opportunity I got – to live."

Cook said he was "so glad" to hear that D'Aquino is doing well now. "I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. It inspires us to keep pushing."

D'Aquino's situation might have been different had it not been for the Apple Watch's ability to detect an elevated heart rate, introduced in watchOS 4. When enabled, the feature notifies the wearer if their heart rate remains above a chosen beats per minute while they appear to have been inactive for a period of 10 minutes.

On all Apple Watch Series 1 or newer models, users can turn on heart rate notifications when they first open the Heart Rate app, or at any time later:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on a paired iPhone.

  • Tap the My Watch tab, then tap Heart Rate.

  • Tap Elevated Heart Rate, then choose a BPM.

If you have any family, friends, or know of anyone else with an Apple Watch, remind them to enable this potentially life saving feature. For people like D'Aquino and Deanna Recktenwald, it has given them a new lease on life.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 8
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

isaac_appleweed Avatar
62 months ago
Great Apple! Now lower the prices of your products. I get a heart attack every time I see the price of a Watch that has the potential to save my life.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FelixDerKater Avatar
62 months ago
A benefit of volunteering to participate in the study. Glad to see it paying some dividends.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
truthertech Avatar
62 months ago
Great Apple! Now lower the prices of your products. I get a heart attack every time I see the price of a Watch that has the potential to save my life.
Skip two lattes a month (good for your heart health too!), and you'll have an Apple Watch paid off in 18 months. You can get them on sale for $149.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
truthertech Avatar
62 months ago
A benefit of volunteering to participate in the study. Glad to see it paying some dividends.
There are other benefits to participating in the studies that are occurring with the Apple Watch, but this man's life saving situation had nothing to do with the study and it doesn't appear he was in the study. His life was saved by the Apple Watch feature of notifying you when something is wrong. You don't have to be part of a study to use that feature.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bigsk8r Avatar
62 months ago
Like, love, hate, or loathe Apple, we should all agree that this is an example of what we want technology to be able to do for us.

I sincerely hope other manufacturers work on medical technologies as well. If there is eventually a committee that overseas standards for electronic health products for consumers like the CTIA does for cellular communication, it would be a win for the world.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
truthertech Avatar
62 months ago
Where in the story did it say Mr. D'Aquino was participating in a study?
It didn't. That's a misconception that the poster and others have. The life saving feature is built in to the Watch OS and you don't have to be in a study.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
top stories 28jan2023

Top Stories: iOS 16.3 Released, iPhone 15 Pro Rumors, macOS Tips and Tricks, and More

Saturday January 28, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Following last week's hardware announcements, this week saw the actual release of several of the new products as well as operating system updates bringing new features and bug fixes across Apple's platforms. This week also saw some fresh rumors about the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, while we shared some tips to help you get the most of your macOS experience, so read...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
iPhone 15 General Mock Feature

Kuo: iPhone 15 Models to Adopt Wi-Fi 6E

Thursday January 26, 2023 5:09 pm PST by
The upcoming iPhone 15 models that are set to be introduced later in 2023 will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note about Apple's work on a Wi-Fi chip, Kuo said that the company will upgrade the iPhone 15 to Wi-Fi 6E. Apple is already using Wi-Fi 6E for the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models introduced last year, along with the new Mac mini and...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...