Apple has been putting a significant focus on health-related topics in recent months, led by the Apple Watch's health and fitness sensors and associated app functionality. In fact, just a few weeks ago at its "Hey Siri" media event, the company showed off some Apple Watch apps that could help doctors keep track of patients and even read the heartbeat of a baby still in its mother's womb.

Now, the Apple Watch is becoming known as a lifesaver, as well, with a story emerging over the weekend about a teenage football player's abnormal after-practice heartrate and his Apple Watch's tracking that led him to determine something was seriously wrong.

watch heartrate lifesave
Paul Houle Jr., a 17-year-old Tabor Academy senior in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, discovered after practice one day that he had pain in his chest and back when taking deep breaths, along with a rapid heart rate.

“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.”

Houle was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition that occurs after intense exercise results in the leaking of enzymes and proteins into the blood from muscle cells. Some cases can lead to kidney failure and can be fatal and when Houle arrived at the hospital he was suffering from simultaneous heart, liver, and kidney failure.

Although initially a skeptic of the Apple Watch, Houle's father is now a convert and has recently purchased Apple Watches for both himself and his wife, thankful for the lifesaving intervention of Apple's product in his son's life.

Since Houle's story surfaced late last week, word of the ordeal reached Apple CEO Tim Cook, who contacted Houle with a personal phone call a few days after his diagnosis and recovery. "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.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

dearfriendx Avatar
79 months ago
Have to admit, glad he had the watch and checked his HR. Cool example of useful tech.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sotiros57 Avatar
79 months ago
Amazing story! This is why I am such a huge fan of the company. I got an Apple Watch last week for a similar reason! I'm going in for open-heart surgery in the next week or so and this really helps keep my heart rate logged. I have palpitations due to an arrhythmia problem and a 7cm aneurysm, so it's a big deal. Thankfully, I can send all of this information to my team of surgeons. I couldn't imagine not having this now! I know it sounds cheesy and tacky, but...

Thanks, Apple!
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kajje Avatar
79 months ago
In most cases, I would be somehow skeptic about 50-odd year old guys calling my teen children and offering free iPhones.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
79 months ago
amazing story.. and awesome of tim cook. stories like these make me think an apple watch might be worth it, but I am going to wait out until the next gen comes around.
If you live that long... :p
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Corrode Avatar
79 months ago
Cue a wave of teenagers trying to have near-death experiences in order to land internships at Apple.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iKrivetko Avatar
79 months ago
I don't want to sound like an utter berk, but how does this case qualify him for an internship?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
it home ecommerce app iphone 13

iPhone 13 to Launch on September 17, AirPods 3 on September 30, Claims Report

Wednesday August 25, 2021 2:42 am PDT by
Apple may be planning to launch the iPhone 13 on Friday, September 17 and third-generation AirPods on Thursday, September 30, according to an image of an e-commerce app discovered by Chinese language site IT Home. The screenshot, originally posted by Weibo account @PandaIsBald, suggests all four iPhone 13 models will go on sale on September 17, followed by the AirPods 3 on September 30....
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
ulysses Blog Publishing

Ulysses 22 Brings New Blogging Options and Visual Customizations

Monday March 22, 2021 5:24 am PDT by
Popular writing app Ulysses today received its 22nd major release, introducing new publishing features and additional options for users to customize the visual appearance of their writing environment. As well as providing a focused writing environment, Ulysses offers ways to publish texts from within the app to various blogging platforms. Version 22 adds the ability to publish to Micro.blog, ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...