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Apple Watch helps diagnose deadly tumor, saves Maine woman's life

Apple Watch saves life of Maine woman after detecting irregular heartbeat
Apple Watch saves life of Maine woman after detecting irregular heartbeat 01:45

BOSTON – A Maine woman is recovering from life-saving surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital thanks to her Apple Watch.

"It truly saved my life," Kim Durkee told WBZ-TV.

Kim swears by it now, but she didn't believe her Apple Watch for the first couple of nights in late May when it woke her up warning that her heart was in atrial fibrillation.

"The third night the numbers went a little too high for comfort," Kim said. "Then I said you know what, go to the emergency room if they tell you it's nothing to worry about then toss the watch."

But doctors in Maine soon confirmed that her heart was beating erratically for a simple and scary reason. She had a myxoma, a rare, fast-growing tumor that was choking off her heart's blood supply and would have eventually caused a stroke.

"They said 'Well how did you know you had A-fib?' and I said 'Because my watch told me,'" Kim said.

She had no other symptoms beside the A-fib but quickly made arrangements for a trip to Mass General, where she underwent surgery on June 27. Doctors removed a four-centimeter tumor that almost certainly would've killed her.

"I consider myself to be very lucky, to be here and talking to you," Kim said.

Like many folks, the 67-year-old bought the watch to help monitor her exercise regimen and to summon emergency help should she fall. She never dreamed the watch featuring Minnie Mouse would help diagnose a deadly tumor.

After five hours of open-heart surgery and 11 days at MGH, Kim still has lengthy recovery at home in northern Maine where she's been contacted by many who have bought Apple Watches after hearing her story.

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