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Apple Watch owners receive Tim Cook responses to 'thank you' emails

An example of an Apple Watch heart rate notification

A pair of Apple Watch users who survived medical issues after acting on alerts from their wearables emailed Tim Cook in gratitude, and surprisingly got a response within hours.

The Apple Watch has repeatedly been cited as saving the lives of users in a variety of situations. While the stories of survival are frequent, it is unusual to hear of a response from Tim Cook to customers shortly after they shared their story.

In two separate incidents, Apple Watch users were warned of heart problems by the wearable device. In both instances, emails were dispatched to Cook, who replied.

In one story told by ABC KAKE, Michael Gallegos of Wichita, Kansas had received an Apple Watch as a gift from son Nick.

According to the report, the Apple Watch detected an unusual heart rhythm while Michael slept, and since Family Sharing was enabled, Nick received a notification. "I think if I recall the notification said that his heart was below 40 beats per minute for over ten minutes," Nick recounts.

The notification prompted Nick to contact his father and urge him to seek medical attention. Nick then took his father to the ER, which resulted in the discovery of an undiagnosed heart condition, and surgery for Michael.

"They said that I was pretty lucky. And, you know, good choice for my son for getting me the watch. Because, you know, I would have never known. It would have been too late," Michael explains. He was also told by doctors that he would not have survived soon if he wasn't fitted with a pacemaker.

Following the incident, Nick emailed Cook with thanks. Nick says the email was dispatched at abough 12:30 p.m., and he had a personal response by 2 p.m.

"I'm glad your father sought medical attention and received the treatment he needed. Thanks so much for sharing his story with us. Please give him my best," wrote the CEO.

Nick described the email response as "just amazing. It's just crazy to see that."

Another speedy response

After remembering another heart-related incident in 2021, Professor Christopher Oakley of Asheville, North Carolina also sent an email to Cook. The August 2021 incident had Oakley performing yardwork before cleaning his bathroom, reports ABC 13.

"I remember standing here (the bathroom) looking at this thing of Marilyn Monroe on the wall and I remember looking at that and going Why am I feeling nauseous?' and the next thing I know I went down over here and hit this on the way down and was jammed into this little alcove," Oakley relived.

He got up to discover his heart racing as if he had "just run a marathon," then after a rest, headed to his bedroom. "I either fell asleep or passed out. I don't remember. I just remember waking up in the morning and it was still racing."

The following morning, Oakley's husband rushed him to the emergency room after feeling his chest, but in an unfortunate turn of events, his heart had calmed down by the time a doctor was to see him.

"They're looking at me like why are you here?" Oakley said, with doctors telling him to go home. At the time, Oakley pointed out he had an Apple Watch and notifications that his heart raced between 121 and 151 beats per minute all night long.

Using that information, the doctors described Oakley of having a heart attack and performed double bypass surgery on him a few days later.

Following his ordeal, Oakley has been "evangelizing" the Apple Watch, and two years later, decided to thank Cook for the Apple Watch's assistance.

"I just really appreciate all the work you and your folks have put into this in order to create a product that not only tells you the time, but also saves your life," wrote Oakley.

Three hours later, Cook wrote back, expressing "We're just happy you're doing well."

"We used to collect watches and things, like Disney watches and things like that, but I haven't worn one in years because this is my lifesaver," Oakley concludes.