Family Credits Apple Watch For Saving Daughter’s Life

FLORIDA (ABC NEWS)- Florida resident Deanna Recktenwald may be alive today because of her Apple Watch.

The 18-year-old from Lithia, Florida, was at church on April 22 when she got a notification from her Apple Watch: her resting heart rate had skyrocketed to 160 beats per minute.

“I didn’t know what was going on at all and it was just out of the blue,” Recktenwald told ABC-affiliate WFTS in Tampa.

Recktenwald’s mother, Stacey Recktenwald, a registered nurse, rushed Deanna to an urgent care facility. After her vitals were taken, Deanna Recktenwald was instructed to go to the emergency room immediately.

Deanna Recktenwald was told she had kidney failure and was admitted at Tampa General Hospital for three days. Because of the permanent kidney damage, her daughter may need a transplant in the next couple of years, Stacey Recktenwald told ABC News.

Tampa General Hospital would not comment on Deanna Recktenwald’s condition, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws.

Stacey Recktenwald wanted to thank Apple for saving her daughter’s life. So she wrote an email to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“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.”

A few days later an email from Cook himself popped up on her screen.

“Stacey, I’m happy to hear your daughter is fine now,” Cook wrote. “Thanks for sharing her story. This inspires us to keep pushing.


The Apple Watch can measure a person’s heart rate during resting, workout, recovery, walking and breath sessions, according to Apple. The company also has a partnership with Stanford Medicine for the Apple Heart Study app, which will look at heart rate and rhythm.

Stacey Recktenwald is about to purchase her own Apple Watch and said Deanna never takes hers off since the scare.

“She won’t go to sleep without the watch on,” she said. “She’s so dependent on it because she was so shocked when the doctor said she was in kidney failure.”


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