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 (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

isaac_appleweed Avatar
60 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
60 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
60 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
60 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
60 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
60 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

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
android apple fix rcs

Google Again Criticizes Apple for Not Adopting RCS for Messages App: 'Their Texting is Stuck in the 1990s'

Friday December 2, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Google is continuing on with its attempt to convince Apple to adopt the RCS messaging standard, publishing a new "it's time for RCS" blog post. Promoted heavily by Google, RCS or Rich Communication Services is a messaging standard that is designed to replace the current SMS messaging standard. It provides support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, and bigger file sizes, ...
ios 16 2 beta notifiation center

PSA: Older Notifications No Longer Hidden in Notification Center in iOS 16.2 Beta 4

Friday December 2, 2022 5:23 am PST by
In a small but significant change to the way the Notification Center works in the latest iOS 16.2 beta, older notifications are now shown by default without having to swipe up. In the current release as well as earlier versions of iOS 16, users do not automatically see older notifications in the Notification Center like they did in iOS 15, and instead must manually swipe up from the middle...
lastpass

LastPass Hacked for Second Time This Year

Friday December 2, 2022 4:04 am PST by
Password management app LastPass says it is investigating a security incident after an "unauthorized party" compromised its systems on Wednesday and gained access to some customer information. The information was stored in a third-party cloud service shared by LastPass and parent company GoTo, said LastPass CEO Karim Toubba in a blog post. Toubba said the hackers used information stolen from ...
Apple Card Savings

Apple Card Customer Agreement Updated for 'Upcoming' Savings Account Feature

Friday December 2, 2022 11:43 am PST by
Goldman Sachs this week updated its Apple Card customer agreement to reflect the credit card's upcoming Daily Cash savings account feature, which was expected to launch with iOS 16.1 but appears to have been delayed. "To enable new ways to use Daily Cash like the upcoming Savings account feature, we are updating the Daily Cash Program section of your Apple Card Customer Agreement," reads an...