Managing a household wasn't easy for Anne Rowe, of Fairhope, when she found herself feeling tired all the time, and short of breath.
"It had gotten to where I couldn't walk completely throughout the house without having to stop to catch my breath," Anne Rowe explained to FOX10 News.
Diagnosed with asthma, many years ago, she thought it was getting worse.
That wasn't it.
"It kept saying that I was in AFib and at first I didn't really believe it but then I decided I would go to my doctor."
That it was her Apple Watch. The built-in ECG (electrocardiogram) reading her heart rhythm and detecting the problem in 30-seconds...just from the touch of her fingertip.
"I was a stroke waiting to happen and I had no clue," Rowe said.
An EKG by doctors confirming, she was indeed in AFib, or atrial fibrillation. Her heart rate...irregular...and blood-flow...poor.
Thinking back Rowe said, "I have no question that it saved my life."
She later had open heart surgery to replace her mitral valve and is now recovering well with regular heart rhythm. And it's all thanks in part to a Christmas gift from her husband.
What is AFib?
Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF) is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. At least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib.
Some people with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms and are unaware of their condition until it's discovered during a physical examination. Those who do have atrial fibrillation symptoms may experience signs and symptoms such as:
- Palpitations, which are sensations of a racing, uncomfortable, irregular heartbeat or a flip-flopping in your chest
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Apple Watch ECG