Jake Freeman

Jake Freeman, with his wife,
Jake Freeman, with his wife, Jennifer.

Jake Freeman of Grand Forks underwent surgery March 13, 2017, to remove blood clots. He learned that the surgeon had found some surprises, including scarring that pinches the flow of blood in an artery in his forearm.

Following that surgery and two weeks of testing and work-ups at the Mayo Clinic complex in Rochester, Minn., doctors revised an earlier diagnosis and concluded Jake, 27, has atrial septal defect (ASD), a hole in the wall between his heart's two upper chambers. It's a congenital condition which, when small, may close on its own a child's infancy or early childhood development.

Jake's ASD did not close and is both abnormally large and long-standing, which can damage his lungs and heart. According to Mayo's website, an adult who has had an undetected atrial septal defect for decades may have a shortened life span from heart failure or high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs. 

Meanwhile, doctors still are trying determine the source of the blood clots, which may lead to further surgery still for Jake.

As it is, he is scheduled to undergo surgery at Mayo for ASD in June.

A fundraiser for Jake was held on March 21 at CrossFit Tundra Gym of Grand Forks, where Jake is the longest active fitness club member.

A second fundraiser, a pancake breakfast sponsored by NDAD, will be held Sat., June 3, at the Ground Round in southwest Grand Forks. The hours are 8 to 10 a.m. that morning, and the breakfast also will include bacon, sausage, juice and coffee.

Proceeds will be used to help Jake, a Cummins diesel mechanic, with medical and general expenses. He had been unable to work for a time after his first surgery.

NDAD is the official custodian for funds raised to help Jake. Donations for Jake may be made online, using the donation button displayed.

Or, donations may be mailed to: NDAD, c/o Jake Freeman Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201.  Make checks payable to NDAD and write "Jake Freeman" on your check's memo line.


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