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'It's just amazing' | Apple Watch detects heart condition in Cocke County man

At first, Forest Clevenger didn't believe the results from the EKG app were accurate. His doctors said it may have saved his life.

NEWPORT, Tenn. — When Forest Clevenger got a new Apple Watch in December, he decided to try out the electrocardiogram (ECG) app.

It showed he had arrhythmia. Initially, he thought it must be wrong.

"I took it three or four times," he said. "It was telling me I needed to seek medical attention."

It took three months before Forest's doctor was able to see him. At that point, he didn't think he had a serious heart condition.

Still, something felt off — especially at the gym. 

"I didn't think it had anything to do with my heart. I'd had COVID a few months ago," he said. "I'd been noticing when I went to the gym, I would start getting really winded really fast."

His doctor ran tests as soon as he got there to see what was wrong. Within 1.5 hours, he was told he needed to go to the emergency room right away.

Credit: Submitted

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"It just all fell into place," he said. "The day I was getting the test, I just happened to be in cardiac arrest."

The doctors shocked his heart back into rhythm and said they were glad he didn't wait any longer.

"It was a type 2 heart attack," Clevenger said. "It wasn't massive, but it was building up." 

Now, he has to wear a special vest that checks his heart rhythm and has the ability to shock his heart if needed. He also has to take daily heart pills. 

"One medication with insurance is $610 for a month," he said. "It blows my mind how they could charge you so much for something that's going to keep you alive."

Even so, he's grateful to have a second chance.

"[The watch] was right and I was wrong," he said. "It's just amazing."

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