73-year-old NJ man bought an Apple Watch ‘to be cool,’ then it saved his life


A retired accountant in Lawrenceville, New Jersey says that his Apple Watch SE – which he initially bought “to be cool” – turned out to be a life-saving purchase.

“I wanted to be cool, I always thought these were really sharp looking. They’re hip, they’re in style,” 73-year-old Frank Haggerty told CBS News Philadelphia about his Apple Watch purchase.

According to Haggerty, he was sleeping one night when he received an alert on his Apple Watch that his heart rate was abnormally low at just 30 beats per minute. The average heart rate, for context, is anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute.

“They put me in an ambulance, and they rushed me to the hospital,” Haggerty said.

The emergency department doctor was shocked the 73-year-old from Lawrenceville had no symptoms.

“He said, ‘You don’t feel lightheaded? Like your chest doesn’t hurt? You have nothing wrong?’ I said, ‘I feel like I could run a marathon.’ And his response was, ‘You might make it to the end of the hall,’” Haggerty said.

“He wound up having what is called complete heart block, which is an electrical phenomenon in the heart where the heart’s intrinsic elect system malfunctions,” Dr. Keith Wilson, Haggerty’s cardiologist explained. Haggerty had a pacemaker put in to help regulate his heart rate.

Haggerty now credits the Apple Watch with crediting his life. “Quite frankly, had I not had the watch on, I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” Haggerty said. “It’s my best friend, I say that in front of my wife.”

As Apple details in a support document, you can enable notifications from the Heart Rate app on your Apple Watch to alert you to high or low heart rates and irregular heart rhythms. To manage the alerts:

  1. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab, then tap Heart.
  3. Tap High Heart Rate, then choose a BPM. 
  4. Tap Low Heart Rate, then choose a BPM.

Learn more about Apple Watch heart rate notifications in our detailed guide.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


A retired accountant in Lawrenceville, New Jersey says that his Apple Watch SE – which he initially bought “to be cool” – turned out to be a life-saving purchase.

“I wanted to be cool, I always thought these were really sharp looking. They’re hip, they’re in style,” 73-year-old Frank Haggerty told CBS News Philadelphia about his Apple Watch purchase.

According to Haggerty, he was sleeping one night when he received an alert on his Apple Watch that his heart rate was abnormally low at just 30 beats per minute. The average heart rate, for context, is anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute.

“They put me in an ambulance, and they rushed me to the hospital,” Haggerty said.

The emergency department doctor was shocked the 73-year-old from Lawrenceville had no symptoms.

“He said, ‘You don’t feel lightheaded? Like your chest doesn’t hurt? You have nothing wrong?’ I said, ‘I feel like I could run a marathon.’ And his response was, ‘You might make it to the end of the hall,’” Haggerty said.

“He wound up having what is called complete heart block, which is an electrical phenomenon in the heart where the heart’s intrinsic elect system malfunctions,” Dr. Keith Wilson, Haggerty’s cardiologist explained. Haggerty had a pacemaker put in to help regulate his heart rate.

Haggerty now credits the Apple Watch with crediting his life. “Quite frankly, had I not had the watch on, I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” Haggerty said. “It’s my best friend, I say that in front of my wife.”

As Apple details in a support document, you can enable notifications from the Heart Rate app on your Apple Watch to alert you to high or low heart rates and irregular heart rhythms. To manage the alerts:

  1. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab, then tap Heart.
  3. Tap High Heart Rate, then choose a BPM. 
  4. Tap Low Heart Rate, then choose a BPM.

Learn more about Apple Watch heart rate notifications in our detailed guide.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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