PLANO, Texas — Earl and Gloria Dedman have exchanged many gifts over 61 years of wedded bliss but nothing like one gift from several Christmases ago. They invested in an Apple Watch and didn't realize its full capabilities until Earl Dedman started to have dizzy spells that caused him to fall.
"I think it could have probably saved my life," said Earl Dedman.
Last Sunday evening in their Plano home, the pair had just finished dinner and were in separate parts of the house. Dedman was in the bedroom when he started to feel dizzy again.
"I had no idea he had fallen. I was in the house with him and had no idea," said Gloria.
She didn't know something was up until she heard someone out front of their home. It was Plano Fire-Rescue from nearby Station 12.
"She didn't even know that they were coming until she heard banging on the front door," said Dedman.
At first, Gloria thought the house was on fire, and then realized the first responders were alerted by Dedman's Apple Watch. She told WFAA when she found her husband he was unconscious and on the tiled floor of the vanity.
"We've actually seen a lot of people come in with the fall alert," Medical City Plano Emergency Doctor Brandon Meek said. "They call this the art of medicine, but technology is helping us move to the science of medicine."
It is a function of the Apple Watch called "fall detection". Fall detection first alerts the person wearing the watch, connects directly to 9-1-1, and then notifies emergency contacts.
"I wish they had it when my kids were growing up," laughed Gloria.
Doctors told WFAA that Dedman's heart was working too hard and it could have lead to heart failure.
On Thursday, Dedman had a procedure called ablation, which helps the heart maintain a normal heart rhythm. He is resting and rehabbing at Medical City Plano.
Meek puts it bluntly, "Earl was lucky."
"I was absolutely scared to death," said Gloria.
Dedman already has golf plans for next week. He needs assistance walking around right now, but is expected to make a full recovery.
"I'm grateful for the watch, and I'm grateful for this hospital," said Gloria.
She's just happy the watch acts as another pair of eyes when she's not around. She said her husband absolutely loves wearing it, and it has replaced an old Rolex he wore for many years.
"I think it's a great investment. I'd do it again in a heartbeat," said Dedman.