Teen Says Apple Watch Saved His Life
Gadget alerted him to simultaneous heart, liver, and kidney failure
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2015 1:19 PM CDT
A high-school football player is crediting his Apple Watch's heart monitor for saving his life.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – For many people, the Apple Watch has been a punchline since it was unveiled last year. But earlier this month, the wearable computer saved the life of a Massachusetts teen, ABC News reports. "If it wasn't for the Apple Watch to alert him to the fact that there was a problem, he probably would have just gone back to bed," Dr. Paul Houle says of his son. "He would have showed up for practice the next day and would have been one of the kids you read about every fall, who drops dead on the football field." What happened: After his second football practice of the day Sept. 8, Paul Houle Jr. had pain in his chest and back, and his heart was racing, according to MacRumors. Attributing it to a hard day of practicing, he attempted to sleep it off, WCVB reports.

When the 17-year-old woke up, something was still wrong; Houle's Apple Watch—which can track the wearer's heart rate—said his was 145 beats per minute, more than double his average, WCVB reports. “If my Apple Watch hadn’t shown me it was 145, I would have done nothing about it," he says. According to MacRumors, Paul went to the hospital and discovered his heart, liver, and kidneys were failing simultaneously due to a condition brought on by intense exercise. It could have been fatal. After his recovery, Apple CEO Tim Cook called Houle to offer him a new iPhone and summer internship. And Dr. Houle—who thought his son was wasting his money on the Apple Watch—immediately went out and bought two for himself and his wife.