Apple has always been known to place a focus on the health-centric features of the Apple Watch. At their recent media event they showed-off how the Watch can help doctors keep track of a baby’s health in the womb.
Now comes the story of Paul Houle Jr., a 17-year-old Tabor Academy senior in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and how his Apple Watch saved his life by alerting him to issues with his heart rate following football practice.
Houle had experienced pain in his chest and back when taking deep breaths, as well as an elevated heart beat during practice.
“After practice I went and took a nap, my heart rate was still at 145.” He went to the hospital, where he learned he had heart, liver and kidney failure, which could have been fatal if not for his watch.
“If my Apple Watch hadn’t shown me it was 145, I would have done nothing about it.”
During the visit to the hospital, Houle was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition that can occur following intense exercise. The condition causes leaking of enzymes and proteins into the blood from muscle cells, and in some cases can cause kidney failure, resulting in death.
Word of Houle’s ordeal, and the role his Apple Watch played in saving his life, eventually reached the ears of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who personally called the teenager.
“I got a phone call from a California number,” said Houle. “And he said ‘Hello, my name is Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.'” Cook proceeded to offer the Cape Cod teenager a brand-new iPhone and a summer internship at the company’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino next year.
On a related note, the young Houle’s life-saving experience has made a believer out of his father, who while initially being skeptical of the Watch’s usefulness, has now purchased one for both himself and his wife.