An Apple Watch saved a teen’s life—and then Tim Cook offered him an internship

You get an internship, and you get an internship!
You get an internship, and you get an internship!
Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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An Apple Watch helped save Paul Houle’s life—and it got him a summer job with Apple.

Paul Houle, a 17-year-old high schooler from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, first noticed that he had chest and back pain during football practice. His Apple Watch, which can measure your resting heart rate every few minutes, showed that his was abnormally high at 145 beats per minute. It stayed that high even after he went home.

“After practice I went and took a nap, my heart rate was still at 145,” Houle told CBS local news station WCVB. “If my Apple Watch hadn’t shown me it was 145, I would have done nothing about it.”

Houle went to the emergency room, and doctors discovered he had heart, liver, and kidney failure due to rhabdomyolysis—a condition triggered by extreme exercise that causes muscle cells to release toxic enzymes and proteins. In severe cases, it can be fatal.

Houle’s story is so impressive that Apple CEO Tim Cook gave him a call. “I got a call from a California number, and he said, ‘Hello, my name is Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.'” Cook offered Houle a free new iPhone, and an internship at Apple headquarters next summer, 9to5Mac reported.

Houle’s father, who told reporters that he once thought spending money on an Apple Watch would be a waste, went out and bought two of the smartwatches for him and his wife after his son’s health scare.