‘It was surreal’: Moorhead teen continues to recover after heart transplant

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Aaron Erickson loves to ride his bike, be outside and enjoys life. On the outside, he looks like a health teenager, but on the inside he is a walking miracle.

“Rely on your doctors, find a cardiologist you trust, find a team that you trust.” said Holly Erickson, Aaron’s mom.

Erickson was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome which caused the pumping chamber to ineffectively pump blood to the body. It had been a long battle for him. Eventually, Erickson had to get a new heart. On November 7 last year, Aaron Erickson got a transplant.

“It was surreal. For the first time in his life he was 100% oxygen.” said Erickson.

It was a special moment for the Ericksons when Aaron woke up. When asked if he could feel his new heart, this was his response. He wrote on a board, ‘I already did’.

“Remember how loud this new, all-functioning, beautiful gift. This new heart was and just being in awe of like, holy cow this happened, it’s healthy and it is so strong.” said Erickson.

The Erickson says the community’s support, like the Battle of the Cents-es with North Dakota State University, has been crucial to them.

“The community has been great, never expected as much support from the community as we’ve gotten from his whole journey.” said John Erickson, Aaron’s dad.

The family also said they can’t wait for the snow to finally clear off, so Aaron can back on his bike for the first time with his new heart.

“Just knowing that he is going to be able to go farther and push it harder than he has been before. I’m probably more excited than he is.” said Erickson.

Erickson’s next step is to get some testing done on his new heart.