Motorcycle club helps member’s daughter with medical funds

Submitted Photo The McCallum family is hoping Aspen McCallum will make a full recovery after her second surgery in June. Back row, from left to right, are Colton, Alex, Tristan, Autumn, Caleb, Mackenzie, Josh and Aspen. Front row, from left to right, are Amari, Joe, Amanda and Josh.

At a time when high school students are looking forward to summer break, 14-year-old Aspen McCallum is preparing for a surgery in June. With the help of the River Riders Motorcycle Club, the McCallum family of Minot is raising funds to pay for Aspen’s second operation.

The club’s benefit run will begin and end Saturday in Max. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.

Aspen McCallum’s first surgery had been successful, but only for a short while.

Aspen McCallum has supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), caused by a hole in her heart tissue. SVT presents itself with a rapid or erratic heartbeat of more than 100 beats per minute.

On Nov. 6, she had not been doing anything to warrant her heartbeat to be that high, so Amanda McCallum thought it was anxiety. However, the symptoms persisted into the next morning. Filled with concern, Amanda McCallum drove her daughter to the walk-in clinic, which then sent her to the emergency room with a pulse of 190-220 beats per minute.

At 7 p.m. when the hospital could not make a diagnosis, she was airlifted to Fargo Children’s Hospital, where she underwent several electrocardiograms (EKGs), which record the electrical impulses traveling through the heart, and echocardiograms (ECGs), which are ultrasounds of the heart. These allowed the doctor to see her heart and the surrounding areas without opening the chest cavity.

The doctor told them it was normal to initially think it was anxiety, as rapid heartbeat, high body temperature and sweating are also signs of having an anxiety attack.

The surgeon endoscopically cauterized the tissue around the hole to get the scar tissue to heal over the hole, thus sealing it shut.

The scar tissue did not hold, so now the teen must go through a second surgery to try to fix the problem. If the second surgery is not successful, they will likely need to look into having a pacemaker implanted to regulate her heartbeat.


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