While one can argue that we are surrounded by too much technology nowadays, this teen from Florida was definitely happy that she recently received an Apple Watch for Christmas. The smartwatch features a heart rate sensor and suddenly detected an unusually high pace.
The 18-year-old Deanna Reckentald thought it was just a mere bug at first, but this ‘bug’ ended up saving her life.
The nifty wearable constantly monitors the heart rate of the person wearing it and also offers extensive medical and health functionalities.
The Apple Watch reported via a notification alert that Deanna had a current heart rate of no less than 190 beats per minute, way above the usual resting rate that sits below a hundred.
The teen is an active cheerleader and hasn’t had any medical issues in the past, so the alert just didn’t make any sense to her at first. Deanna was just sitting in church and wasn’t physically active at all.
“The only symptom that I had was that I was out of breath from walking and standing and sitting so it kind of didn’t make much sense,” the young woman said to ABC News. “I didn’t know what was going on at all and it was just out of the blue.”
Luckily, she immediately told her mom about the alert on her smartwatch. Deanna’s mom Stacey is a registered nurse and was probably skeptical at first, but decided to check out her pulse nonetheless.
“It was alarming that the watch was telling us to seek medical attention,” Stacey told. “I didn’t even know that it had the capability of giving us that alert.”
The watch was absolutely spot-on.
“I was surprised, it was right on.”
“It was scary because she was just sitting there. She wasn’t doing anything,” her mom recalls. “It wasn’t like she was running around. She was just standing there and it spiked up to 190.”
Deanna’s family immediately took her to a walk-in-clinic where further testing validated the extreme heart rate measured by the smartwatch and her mom.
The teen was then rushed to the emergency room and was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
Deanna’s kidneys are in bad shape and are unable to handle the load of her body. Both of them are only operating at one-fifth of their normal capacity, and it’s very likely that Deanna will need a kidney transplant in the future.
If the Apple Watch didn’t notify her of her spiking heart rate, this disease could’ve gone completely unnoticed until it was too late.
“Instantly started to pray and thank God for her having that watch,” Deanna’s dad Tom told.
“I was shocked because even if you look at her today, she’s perfectly healthy looking,” Stacey added.
Both of them agree that the high-tech watched saved their daughter’s life, and they certainly didn’t expect that their Christmas gift to her would make such an impact.
A couple of days after Deanna was diagnosed, mom Stacey wrote a letter to Apple, thanking them for the creation of their Watch and the integrated health warnings.
“I am forever grateful to Apple for developing such an amazing lifesaving product,” Stacey Recktenwald said in the letter. “If it wasn’t for her Apple watch alarming her about her HR we wouldn’t have discovered her kidney issue. I honestly feel that your Apple Watch has saved my daughter’s life.”
It didn’t take long before tech mogul and current CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, wrote a response.
“Stories like Deanna’s inspire us to dream bigger and push harder every day,” he tweeted.
Ever since the notification, Deanna and her smartwatch have been inseparable, and she even wears it at night so the watch can track her heart rate while she sleeps. As for Stacey, she decided to buy an Apple Watch for herself as well.
It’s amazing how this small piece of technology on your wrist can end up being a lifesaver!
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