Barry Maden, Nashua resident, received an Apple Watch for Christmas from his wife. Little did they know that this fun tech gift would end up saving Barry's life just days later.
Barry thought his condition was anxiety caused by traveling during the holidays. He never expected that it was something much more serious and probably wouldn't have even known had it not been for his new Apple Watch.
Barry previously suffered from a brain injury and wanted to get the Apple Watch to better monitor his health. "He originally got it because they have a new fall risk app where, if he were to fall and I'm not nearby, the fall sensor will sense that he fell and call 911," said his wife, Tara Maden.
Barrys Apple Watch didn't help him in the way they originally thought it would. The smartwatch alerted Barry that his heartbeat was irregular. "And it said, 'It looks like your heart is in AFIB. You should contact your doctor," Barry said.
According to Mayo Clinic, atrial fibrillation, or AFIB, is an irregular heartbeat and often rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications.
After getting the notification and actually seeing what his heartbeat looked like on his watch, Barry thought it was best to go to the hospital and see a doctor. "When I got to the ER, they did an actual EKG on a cart -- the real deal," he said.
The doctors confirmed what the Apple Watch had detected. Barry was in AFIB. "It would've probably taken me longer had I not had something actually telling me that something's not right," Barry said.
After the EKG, the doctors sedated Barry and basically stopped and restarted his heart. The Madens said that they feel grateful and blessed. "Instead of just being a toy or a tchotchke, I think I'll probably pay closer attention to it," Barry said.