Lauder had been suffering from a sinus infection that caused shortness of breath and fatigue in January, but after a doctor ruled out pneumonia, she figured she was just out of shape, Lauder told UConn Today.
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However, the odd trend in her heart rate signified on her Fitbit eventually led Lauder to call an ambulance.
After a series of tests at UConn John Dempsey Hospital, doctors found blood clots in both lungs, causing her heart to work much harder to circulate blood.
"My heart had enlarged to about 65% beyond its (normal) capacity," Lauder said of her condition, a direct result of the blood clots, known as pulmonary embolisms.
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Thanks to Dr. JuYong Lee, who used a catheter to apply clot-busting drugs to the clots, Lauder's clots disappeared and her heart was back to being healthy the very next day, according to UConn Today.
“If I didn’t have a Fitbit on my wrist, I would never have known that my heart rate was getting dangerously high,” she said. “And I might not be here to tell my story.”