Ryan McConnaughey: Apple Watch SAVED LIFE of mountain biker after crash left him paralyzed

Californian mountain biker McConnaughey stated, 'If I did not have my Apple Watch, I would not be alive right now'

Ryan McConnaughey: Apple Watch SAVED LIFE of mountain biker after crash left him paralyzed
Ryan McConnaughey was able to survive a severe accident by using his Apple Watch to make an emergency call (Credits: TikTok/@laurenhoush)
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: Ryan McConnaughey, a dedicated mountain biker from Spring Valley, California, regularly rode the Jamul trails until he was involved in an accident on April 21, 2022 that forever changed the trajectory of his life. Owing to his Apple Watch, McConnaughey, who was paralyzed after the severe accident, was able to call for assistance and live to see another day.

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McConnaughey, 23, stated in an interview with People, "If I did not have my Apple Watch, I would not be alive right now," when discussing the incident. "I was coming up over this hill, caught some air, and then it just kind of booted me forward over the handlebars," recalled McConnaughey. "I instantly couldn't move anything from my neck down. And I was by myself, literally in the middle of nowhere, so if I were to yell or anything, nobody would find me."

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McConnaughey understood that his life depended on receiving immediate medical care. His friend Peter, who had been biking with him earlier that day, was the only one who knew his geographical whereabouts. Incapable of using his legs or arms to grab the phone in his backpack as the sun was setting, McConnaughey was left with the only source of help, his Apple Watch. 

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Ryan McConnaughey was involved in a fatal accident that resulted in damaged vertebrae. (Credits: TikTok/@laurenhoush)
Ryan McConnaughey was involved in a fatal accident that resulted in damaged vertebrae. (Credits: TikTok/@laurenhoush)

McConnaughey instructed Siri to call Peter and Siri connected him to Peter on speakerphone. "I didn't know what to expect. It was a life or death situation," he said. "My cell phone was in my backpack, which was on my back, and I could not... There was no way I could have gotten to that. There's no way."

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A short while later, Peter found McConnaughey, and soon after that, emergency services showed up. He also called Lauren Housh, his girlfriend, before they arrived. "Lauren, I'm so sorry, babe. I fell mountain biking, and I'm by myself, and I'm paralyzed from the neck down... I'm calling you from my Apple Watch because I can't move," he said in a heartfelt voicemail. "I love you so much, babe. I just love you more than anything, and I'm not in pain at all. I want you to know that."

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Ryan McConnaughey's Apple Watch saved him after finding that his body was paralyzed from the crash. (Credits: TikTok/@laurenhoush)
Ryan McConnaughey's Apple Watch saved him after finding that his body was paralyzed from the crash. (Credits: TikTok/@laurenhoush)

McConnaughey was taken to a nearby hospital, where he has since underwent a number of operations to fix his vertebrae and release pressure from his spine. He moved back to San Diego four months after the incident, and his arms have subsequently regained some range of motion. He is still unable to move anything below his chest, but he is optimistic that things will get better over the next two years.

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Lauren Housh started a fundraising campaign to collect money for McConnaughey's recovery, and she has since collected close to $40,000. "Many of those donations came from people I've never even met before. I've just never seen this side of people before, so it's nice to be able to get this support from people I don't even know," McConnaughey said.

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McConnaughey continues to reflect on how much he owes the small but mighty device that was on his wrist for his existence. "I think about it all the time. Nobody knew where I was," he said. "There's no way I would have survived through the night."

On Thursday, April 21, 2022, Ryan McConnaughey was involved in an accident that caused a C5 spinal injury. (Credits: TikTok/@laurenhoush)
On Thursday, April 21, 2022, Ryan McConnaughey was involved in an accident that caused a C5 spinal injury. (Credits: TikTok/@laurenhoush)

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