By Mike Max
PRINCETON, Minnesota (WCCO) — Carter Julson, 13, received a heart transplant two years ago, after his parents noticed that he wasn’t able to keep up with his friends in sports.
“We just sensed something wasn’t right,” said his father Brian Julson.
“For a long time, I was just going about, didn’t know anything was wrong, and my mom just wanted to make sure because she had read about this disease, and I kind of had some of the symptoms,” said Carter Julson.
Then in 2019, doctors discovered he had cardiomyopathy, a disease that impacts the heart muscle. It was a shock for the family.
But he found a donor, and his life changed.
“I’ll never forget it – the call came on the 29th of March. And he was in surgery that Tuesday, the following day.” said Brian Julson.
“It means the world that what the donor had to go through and their family, just that sacrifice that happened, like knowing that is just really tough. But I’m so thankful that I can do my sports and keep up with my friends and be with my family so it means the world,” Carter Julson said.
Carter Julson became a part of the Make-A-Wish Program. But instead of going on a trip, or asking for something for himself, he instead asked to re-do the weight room at Princeton High School. He got to design the floor and the types of weights in the room. And, he chose to add a tiger mural to the wall — the school mascot — to symbolize strength.
But the story doesn’t end there. The Minnesota Vikings got word of his kind deed and invited him out to practice.
And after the practice, the Vikings surprised him with two tickets to the Super Bowl.
“I couldn’t believe what was happening,” Carter Julson said.
Now, Carter Julson is a three sport athlete. He plays basketball, football, and baseball.
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