Life-saving Fitbit detects grandfather's heart attack before it happened

Michael Felgate

Grandfather Mick Schroeder did not know why he was suffering dizzy spells, until the fitness band he was wearing detected a dangerous heart rate and he was taken to hospital, just in time.

Mick, 73, knows he is a lucky man after surviving a recent brush with death thanks to his Fitbit.

“They all said without this I was gone, I wouldn't have gone in a MICA ambulance it would have been a normal ambulance and time was running out," Mick told 7 News.

Daughter Hollie bought the Fitbit to track her father's movement after he started suffering dizzy spells and fainting.

The data it collected showed his heartbeat reaching as high as 218 beats per minute before dropping as low as 47.

Mick Shroeder. Photo: 7 News
The Fitbit saved Mick's life. Photo: 7 News

Hollie Schroeder told 7 News: “I've gone ‘oh have a look at this, this is what the Fitbit is showing what does this mean?’

“We also found out the problem was the bottom of the heart not the top that they were actually working on.”

Mick was rushed into surgery where a defibrillator was implanted above his heart.

Hollie Schroeder. Photo: 7 News
Mick and his daughter Hollie. Photo: 7 News
The Fitbit showed Mick's heartbeat to be very irregular. Photo: 7 News

Monash Heart Cardiologist Dr Stuart Healy said: “This is a unique situation where we see people detecting their own abnormal heart conditions before we actually know as a group. He could have passed away from this problem.”

Since Mick's diagnosis, his recovery has been remarkable.

Previously, he had struggled to make it to the letterbox - now he is walking almost 5000 steps a day with his beloved Bella.

“The dog pulls me along and shows me where to go and this tells me how far I’ve been,” Mick added.

Not surprisingly, Hollie says the Fitbit is the best gift she has ever given.

“I think every senior citizen should be given one. When they get their seniors card, it should be given as a gift,” Hollie added.