Greenwood man credits Google with saving his life

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GREENWOOD, Ind. (Dec. 4, 2015) — A father and tech expert says that he turned to Google in his time of need and it saved his life.

Patric Welch was raking leaves in his backyard on November 21 when he started experiencing pain in his chest.

“Somewhere around the first bag of leaves I felt … a kind of tightness in my chest,” Welch said.

Welch, 45, had never thought about having a heart attack so he assumed he was winded. He carried on bagging leaves for several minutes, until the pain worsened and he started getting overheated.

By the time he went inside to lie down, Welch knew something was wrong, so he used his phone’s “OK Google” voice option to search heart attack symptoms.

“I touched (a) link and up came a list of symptoms… I was realizing that I had all of these symptoms,” Welch said.

By then, Welch’s 12-year-old son Aidan was on the phone with his mother, who already knew something was wrong.

“He couldn’t really talk that much so I was trying to tell my mom if he was alright,” Aidan Welch said.

Welch, who was still reluctant to call an ambulance, looked again at the symptoms on his phone and saw the words “don’t tough it out.” That’s when he told his son to call 911.

“I remember one of the EMT’s walking around the corner and saying, ‘Mr Welch, you are having a heart attack,'” Welch said.

It turned out Welch was having a massive heart attack. One of his arteries was 100 percent blocked and he had to have an operation to open it up. One moment before the surgery with his doctor stood out.

“(He said) if I don’t do this, you will die. I think … that’s the moment that I knew it was really serious,” Welch said.

In retrospect, Welch said that if he hadn’t been able to use the voice feature on his phone and quickly search Google, he might have waited even longer to call for help.

“Had I done what they say most men would do, which is go up in your bed and wait it out, that could’ve been a much different result,” Welch said.

Aidan is glad his dad is okay.

“I know there were a lot of times where my dad has saved me … (so) we were joking a few days ago how it was returning the favor,” Aidan said.

As for Welch, he posted his story on the tech blog he writes online. He’s hoping that it inspires other people to search heart attack symptoms so they know what to look out for and call for help if it ever happens to them.

“What I did wasn’t crazy complicated, anybody could do that. You could do it with Siri, you could do it with OK google. … I do feel like it saved my life,” Welch said.

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