This iPhone 5S saved a soldier’s life in Afghanistan, but he can’t afford a new one

From artificial limbs to apps that attempt to improve our lives, you could argue that technology makes our lives more manageable. But if you talk to one Staff Sergeant Shaun Frank, his iPhone didn’t just make his life manageable – it saved it.

KSL reports that the reason Frank is still alive is because his iPhone 5S prevented shrapnel from going through his body. “They did tell him when he got back to base that that iPhone probably saved his life,” said Alisha Lantz, Frank’s sister.

During Frank’s second tour of duty, his unit helped another unit that had a rolled vehicle. While aiding the other unit, Frank noticed a teenage suicide bomber. Even though he attempted to fire first, the bomb exploded, sending shrapnel through Frank’s thumb, fingers, hands, and legs. The iPhone, located in his pocket, stopped some of the ball bearings sent hurling his way.

While the phone itself is unusable, Frank “wanted to keep it as a memento,” said Lantz. When Frank sent the phone to Apple to figure out whether the phone remained under warranty, Apple gave him an ultimatum: either keep the damaged phone or send it in and get a replacement; Frank was not allowed to do both.

In response, Frank decided to keep the old phone. Several months have passed, with Frank in Afghanistan without a phone. His family isn’t sitting on its laurels. “He needs a new iPhone. Apple, please give him a new iPhone,” pleaded Lantz. “I’m just so proud of him. He’s just…he’s my hero.”

While Apple initially told KSL that it was looking into the situation, the company later said it had no comment.

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