Teen's family credits Apple Watch with saving her life

An Apple Watch may have saved a Florida teen's life after the gadget told her to go to a doctor.

Deanna Recktenwald, 18, was sitting in church last month when her Christmas gift alerted her to some alarming readings.

"The watch kept saying that Deanna's heart rate would go up to 140, then dip back down to 60, then go up to 140 again," dad Tom Recktenwald tells CBS News. "Then it spiked to 190 and the watch vibrated on her arm, alerting her to seek medical attention."

Mom Stacey, a registered nurse, checked Deanna's pulse and found that the gadget was "spot on," Tom told CBS News.

Deanna was taken to an urgent care center and then the emergency room at Tampa General Hospital. Doctors found she had kidney failure and suffered from Alport syndrome, a genetic condition.

The teen said "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," according to ABC News.

Tom Recktenwald told CBS News that his daughter's kidneys were only working at "20 percent."

"We had no idea that they were failing," he told the network.

Deanna avoided having emergency surgery and more serious symptoms, but will likely need a kidney transplant within five years, according to CBS News.

"I'm so thankful she had that watch on," her father told the network. "She's going off to college in August, and the last thing I would want her to do is go off to college not knowing she had this underlying condition."

Deanna's mother wrote a letter to Apple to express her gratitute, and CEO Tim Cook responded with an email, according to ABC Action News: "Thanks for sharing her story. This inspires us to keep pushing."