N. Fargo teenager recovering after heart transplant

“I thought I got food poisoning and then I had to get a heart transplant.” said Reese Scufsa.
Published: Feb. 18, 2023 at 7:48 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Scufsas’ lives were upended late last year when 16-year-old Reese was put onto life support because of an enlarged heart and a blood clot. Thankfully, a heart donor matched and Scufsa was given a new lease on life.

“I thought I got food poisoning and then I had to get a heart transplant.” said Scufsa.

“They actually let us listen to his new heartbeat in his room before everyone went home and I was there three in the morning he woke up. Best thing ever to just watch the monitor and just see that new heart beating.” said Denise Scufsa, Reese’s mom.

When Scufsa was taken to the hospital doctors soon determined he needed to be flown to Minneapolis.

“Enlarged heart in teenagers is a pretty rare thing. It happens obviously, but it’s pretty rare that we see it.” said Alex Thompson with Sanford Health.

The family were able to listen to his new heartbeat and his mom was there to see Reese wake up. Denise Scufsa said she’ll never forget that another family made a decision that saved her son’s life.

“What’s really hard though is trying to grasp that he needs this heart but in order for him to get a heart and to live another family is going to lose a family member. I have to be forever grateful for that family, they made that difficult decision to donate that heart so Reese could live.” said Scufsa.

According to doctors, Scufsa flirted with danger since there was a blood clot in his heart as he played soccer this past fall semester. Medical professionals say it is important to get screened for heart disease and issues.

“To see if there is any symptoms or family history. Obviously we want to catch these things sooner than later.” said Thompson.

A benefit is set for the Scufsas, for more information click here.