WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - It's often hard to find that perfect gift to buy for a friend or family member, but this time, one Wichita man says even though it was a bit expensive, this gift saved his father's life.

"I would have never known. He would have never known. I would have probably died in my sleep," said Michael Gallegos.

It's been a long couple of weeks in the hospital for Nick Gallegos Michael, and it all started with an Apple Watch.

Nick bought the watch as a gift for his dad, but says he never expected what happened next.

"I got the notification that, you know, his heartbeat was, I think if I recall the notification said that his heart was below 40 beats per minute for over 10 minutes," Nick said.

While he was asleep, Michael's watch detected an unusual heart rhythm, and since they use Family Sharing, it sent the alert to both of them.

"At that point, I definitely reached out to him. And I was like, dad, something's not right here. You definitely need to go get checked out," Nick said.

Nick took his dad to the ER, and sure enough, doctors found an undiagnosed heart condition and sent Michael into surgery.

"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 said.

Doctors told Michael he would have died soon without getting a pacemaker, and now, he feels like a new man.

"It's like somebody just turned a switch on. And you know, I've got more moves than the Energizer Bunny I think," said Michael.

Feeling so grateful that his dad is still here, Nick sent an email to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, thanking the team for developing the technology.

Nick says what happened next was the most surprising part of this whole story.

"I sent the email to him maybe around like 12:30 in the afternoon. And by about 2 pm, he had responded, you know, personally, which was just amazing. It's just crazy to see that," Nick said.

Hi Nick,

I’m so 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.

Sent from my iPad Pro


"Pretty impressive. Pretty impressive," Michael added about Cook's response. "These things will save your life. They really will. It saved mine. I mean, thanks to my son and this watch, I'm still here."

Michael joked that while the battery life on his watch is good, it doesn't compare to the battery in his pacemaker, which he says will last him about 12 years.