How an Apple Watch saved this teen's life

Deanna Recktenwald was sitting in church when the watch alerted her to seek medical attention immediately due to issues with her heart rate. (Photo: 10News WTSP.)

Many people use their Apple Watch as a fitness tracker or to access various social media apps, but one Florida teen credits her watch with, in part, saving her life. Deanna Recktenwald, 18, received the watch as a Christmas gift from her parents last December.

Last month, the teen was sitting in church when the watch alerted her to seek medical attention immediately due to issues with her heart rate. Recktenwald’s mom, a nurse, saw the notification and checked her daughter’s heart rate — she determined that the watch was correct.

“Had it not been for the watch telling us that her heart rate was up, we would never have known there was a kidney issue, which is what she has been mainly treated for,” Tom Recktenwald, the teen’s father, told 10News WTSP.

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“Had it not been for the watch that her heart rate was up, we would never have known there was a kidney issue, which she has been mainly treated for,” Tom Recktenwald, the teen’s father (above left), said. (Photo: 10News WTSP.)

Recktenwald was rushed to urgent care just in time, as she was experiencing kidney failure.

“I’m getting better. Still have high heart rates and spikes here and there,” Recktenwald told WTSP. She is recovering but still plans to go to college and become a cheerleader. “I’m very grateful for the watch that it alarmed me and gave me advice to seek attention because it was so high.”

The teen says the watch played a part in saving her life, but ultimately believes it was a blessing from God.

“He gave me this watch because ultimately He’s the one that saved me.”

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Some fitness trackers have sensors on the bottom that can help detect blood flow. (Photo: Getty)

About 51 per cent of Americans report using a wearable fitness tracker at least once a day, according to a report by Researchscape International. The most common use for trackers is counting steps taken (39 per cent), calories burned (36 per cent), heartbeat (31 per cent), distance (28 per cent) and sleep quality (25 per cent).

These devices aren’t meant to replace seeing a doctor (some fitness devices aren’t even federally regulated), but many have sensors on the bottom that can help detect blood flow, which can assist with providing necessary data when not in a healthcare facility.

Like when sitting it church.

“I would suggest getting something that could monitor (your heart rate)and help you out,” said Tom Recktenwald.

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