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Incredible twist after man is hit by kangaroo

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An Australian grandfather who was hit by a kangaroo while cycling in Victoria said he felt incredibly “lucky” after his birthday present alerted emergency services.

Bruce Mildenhall, 70, was enjoying a mid-day ride at Mount Macedon, 64km northwest of Melbourne, in April 2021 when a kangaroo came out of nowhere from the bush and crashed into his bike , causing him to lose consciousness.

“Once a month I would climb to the top of Mount Macedonia to make sure I didn’t lose my fitness. I remember coming down the hill I saw my watch and it said it was midday,” Mr Mildenhall told news.com.au.

Then came a flash of fur in front of him.

“The next time I looked at my watch, it said 12:20 p.m. and I was in the back of an ambulance.”

It was his Apple Watch – a birthday gift he received from his wife a month earlier – that helped him achieve this.

The kangaroo had hit the left side of his bike, throwing him over his handlebars and into the middle of the road.

Detecting the fall, the watch alerted emergency services, as well as his wife, who was listed as an emergency contact on his phone.

“I woke up in the ambulance…and I thought: wait, what am I doing here?

“Then I felt this huge neck brace that (the paramedics) had put on and that’s when I thought, oh my God, this is pretty serious.”

The next thing he heard was his wife knocking on the ambulance door to see if he was okay.

“She had been notified by text message so she came to see if I was alive or dead.”

Paramedics informed his wife he would be fine before telling Mr Mildenhall his watch had alerted them to his fall.

“I thought, ‘Oh, I didn’t know they could do that,'” he recalls.

If an Apple Watch detects a hard fall, it can connect its owner to emergency services. If it detects movement, it will wait for you to respond to the alert. However, if the watch detects that you are still for about a minute, it will automatically make the call.

Mr Mildenhall suffered broken ribs, head trauma, crushed vertebrae and a dislocated shoulder as a result of the incident.

“I was very lucky to get my helmet because the side of the helmet was crushed and there was a little bit of blood on the outside of the helmet. So I hit the road pretty hard.

Mr Mildenhall said his wife, three children and four grandchildren were happy she had bought the watch from him.

“They were very happy.”

Fellow Victorian Lexie Northcott’s Apple Watch also came in handy when her 16th birthday present helped alert her of her low heart rate in 2019.

Ms Northcott had initially dismissed the notifications assuming her low heart rate was due to her age and good physical condition.

However, when her mother raised the issue with a doctor, the doctor suggested Miss Northcott have an electrocardiogram (ECG).

A week later, doctors informed her she was at extreme risk of heart failure and needed to rush to Melbourne for heart surgery.

Four years after the operation, Ms Northcott said her health was now better than ever.

Likewise, Mr Mildenhall made a full recovery from his injuries and his back on his bike.

“I was really determined to (get back on the bike). You don’t want these things to affect your life permanently.

Three years after the incident, the 70-year-old still wears his watch and keeps his eyes and ears open for any rustling in the bush as he rides.

“It’s fair to say that since the accident I’ve been a little more wary. But now, if something happens, I am much more confident in asking for help.”

Read related topics:Melbourne

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