Scots dad ‘thought he was a goner’ after smart watch detected deadly blood clot


A Scots dad suffering from a deadly blood clot in his lung believes his life was saved by his smart watch.

Dougie Harrold was recovering from coronavirus at his home in Kirkliston, West Lothian, in August last year when he began to feel dizzy and breathless.

After the symptoms continued for several hours, the 37-year-old checked the heart rate monitor on his smart device which warned him to urgently seek medical treatment.

His partner, Jo, immediately dialed 999 and was told to find a defibrillator to shock the dad-of-one’s heart back into a normal rhythm.

They discovered there wasn’t one installed close by but Dougie was thankfully able to make it to hospital for emergency treatment for the pulmonary embolism.

He said: “I was recovering from Covid and one day I felt a little lightheaded, my heart rate was abnormal and I was out of breath.

“I assumed this was due to recovering from Covid, however it lasted for several hours.

“My heart rate watch probably saved my life as it encouraged me to seek medical attention urgently. I had a pulmonary embolism which can be fatal if untreated.”

“My partner made the 999 call and she was told to get a defibrillator. I couldn’t move, and there was my partner who would need to go and find a defibrillator with none close by.

“She didn’t want to leave me and I knew if I really needed a defibrillator, I was a goner as she didn’t know how to use it.”

After recovering from his ordeal, Dougie launched a fundraising mission to have the life-saving equipment installed in his local Kirkliston community with the help of affordable housing provider Hillcrest Enterprises.

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He added: “Fortunately, I didn’t need a defibrillator but the experience proved to me the importance of having them located throughout the community.

“This happened on the 22nd of August and I had a ticket for the Rangers vs Celtic Old Firm game that weekend.

“I decided to raffle the ticket using the lottery bonus hall and ended up raising £1,630 in total – £1,180 from the old firm ticket raffle and the rest from donations, which covered the full cost of the defibrillator.

“Now that we have one in our estate, we are looking to get as many people as possible defibrillator-friendly through training.”



Pictured from left: Lyndsey Anderson at Mini First Aid Edinburgh & the Lothians, Cll Louise Young, Dougie Harrold and Hillcrest Enterprises estate officer Nina Flynn

The leftover funds will now go towards organizing public training sessions through Mini First Aid Edinburgh & the Lothians on how to use the defibrillator.

West Lothian Councilor Louise Young added, “This is a fantastic initiative and I want to thank Dougie for all the work he’s done to organize and fund the new defibrillator for Kirkliston.

“It’s amazing to think that his own health-scare and that football ticket could ultimately now save someone’s life in Kirkliston.

“I’d like to congratulate Dougie and Hillcrest, and my sincere thanks on behalf of our village.”

And Hillcrest Enterprises’ Director Stuart Dow said: “When Dougie approached Hillcrest to inquire about our building for the defibrillator, we were hugely impressed by his efforts and what he wanted to achieve.

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“Dougie’s commitment to install this lifesaving piece of equipment for the Kirkliston community has been nothing short of inspirational, and we were of course keen to help him in any way we could.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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