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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Connecticut woman says her Fitbit saved her life.

Patricia Lauder bought the fitness tracker to count her steps and help her lose weight.

“That was the main reason I bought the Fitbit initially, which was well over a year ago,” said Lauder.

But now, the 73-year-old credits the device with saving her life.

A few months ago, she wasn’t feeling well. She thought her sinus infection may have turned into pneumonia.

“I went to the doctors to have that checked out and that turned out to be negative,” said Lauder.

Then she noticed her resting heart rate on her Fitbit was climbing higher and higher every day. She had shortness of breath and her heart rate spiked to 140 beats per minute. She called an ambulance right away.

“When it finally got to the point where walking across the room was a major issue, I picked up the phone and knew I needed help,” said Lauder.

Doctors at UCONN Health in Farmington, Connecticut did a CT scan and discovered a potentially deadly problem – two pulmonary embolisms or blood clots.

“That showed a large clot in the lung artery in both sides,” said Dr. Juyong Lee with UConn Health.

Her heart was also enlarged. Dr. Lee says blood clots in the lung put a strain on the heart, causing blood pressure and oxygen levels to drop dangerously. Doctors gave pat clot busting drugs right away. By the next day, her clots were gone.

Lauder says without her Fitbit, she may not be here to tell her story.

“It certainly helped me under the most recent circumstances,” said Lauder.

Her lung and heart function returned to normal. She’s now counting her blessings and back to counting her steps.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath, chest pain, and dizziness.

[graphiq id=”2OgHTOZR8k5″ title=”Pulmonary embolism” width=”600″ height=”747″ url=”″ ]

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