A teenager from Hyannis, Massachusetts claims his Apple Watch saved his life during football practice. 17-year old Paul Houle was on the football field, and had just completed his second set of preseason training for the day, when he started feeling unwell.
He was experiencing back and chain pains, and as a result, he immediately checked his Apple Watch app, which monitored his basic body functions. The device showed his heart rate had surged to 145 beats per minute, which prompted the boy to feel alarmed. He had tested his pulse rate before, when he initially got the gadget, and he knew its normal value was between 60 and 70 beats per minute.
As a result, he decided to take rest, but although a couple of hours had passed, his heart was still beating dangerously fast. He therefore informed Brian Torres, head trainer at Tabor Academy, in Cape Cod, where the boy was a student.
The coach first believed the device’s sensor was malfunctioning, but when he checked the teenager’s heart rate manually, he confirmed that the reading on the smartwatch had been correct. The boy was taken to the academy’s health center, where a nurse measured his blood pressure and heart rate. The values had stayed extremely elevated, and the high schooler was rushed to the hospital.
There, it was initially suspected that he had a blood lot in his leg, which had reached his lungs. However, after a thorough medical check-up, he was told he had rhabdomyolysis (muscle tissue breakdown) as a result of his intense physical training.
Other factors that had contributed to his condition were the extremely hot weather, his severe dehydration and the fact that he was unaccustomed with strenuous exercise.
The boy had sustained muscle damage, which was causing myoglobin protein to be released into his bloodstream. The presence of these amino acids is extremely harmful to the kidneys, and can result in organ failure. According to doctors, his heart, kidneys and liver were on the verge of collapsing.
Houle remained hospitalized for three days, but after receiving extensive medical treatment, he has survived this health scare and is expected to make a full recovery. He believes that in the absence of his heart rate monitor, his health condition would’ve remained undiagnosed.
According to doctors, if he had continued his practice the next day, he would’ve lost control of his muscles, and collapsed on the field, never to wake up again.
The teenager had bought the smartwatch just three days ahead of his sports training at Tabor Academy, and it appears it has been a worthwhile investment. The news also reached Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who gave him a new iPhone as a gift, and a summer internship at the company.
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