West Fargo family turns tragedy into gift of life for Utah girlWest Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - On the last day of school in May at West Fargo’s South Elementary - just as students go home for the summer - more than 600 balloons will be released in memory of a little boy who has left behind an incredible legacy.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
On the last day of school in May at West Fargo’s South Elementary - just as students go home for the summer - more than 600 balloons will be released in memory of a little boy who has left behind an incredible legacy.
It was last June, his last day of school, that 7 year-old Mikey Fetzer was killed in a car-pedestrian accident near his home in West Fargo. In all their despair, his family made a decision to donate his organs, and just days ago, Mikey's family was able to hear his heart again.
It hasn't been an easy year without Mikey.
Bobbi Fetzer – Mikey’s Mom: “It is very hard to get up every morning.”
Gone is that incredible smile. That funny, sweet 7 year-old who, hours after he died in a tragic car accident, would begin an amazing chain of events that would save and change the lives of families from coast to coast, including a little girl named Mia, a beautiful 12 year-old from Utah who is alive because Mikey's heart saved her.
Bobbi Fetzer: “I wake up knowing that she is living and breathing and that to me is amazing.”
Months after Mikey's death, his mother got a card. It was Mia's family, thanking the Fetzers for the gift of life.
Bobbi Fetzer: (reading) “We don't know why our child was given this miracle.”
Then soon after, a letter from 12 year-old Mia.
Bobbi Fetzer: (reading: “There are no ways to express my thankfulness for Mikey’s heart.”
Then one afternoon, an email with an attachment popped up. It was more than a letter.
Bobbi Fetzer: (reading) “Mikey and Mia are getting along quite well.
It was video of Mia getting an ultra sound. Mikey's mom would hear and see, for the first time since transplant, her son's beating heart.
Bobbi Fetzer: “I just cried, but it is so wonderful to have that. To know that he is still beating in her.”
We contacted 12 year-old Mia and her family via Skype this week.
Tom Brickey – Mia’s Dad: “I have always wanted this opportunity when I finally got to the point that I could talk about it. Because for 6 months I could not talk about Mikey. If I did, I would start crying.”
They are incredibly grateful, emotional, and hopeful they can convey the thanks and gratitude to Mikey's family.
Mia Brickey – Received Mikey’s Heart: “I am very thankful for what they did and I am feeling great and doing awesome.”
Heidi Brickey - Mia's Mom: “To be given a second chance for Mia's life.”
Bobbi Fetzer: “That they appreciate what they were given means a lot to our family.”
We learned today that Mia, whose heart failed after a bout with the flu, was just hours away from dying. There was doubt Mikey’s heart would even make it to Utah. It was on the fringe, coming all the way from the upper Midwest.
Tom Brickey: “We went from a perfectly healthy child, and within seven days, no future. No hope.Nothing.”
The other irony of this all is Mikey was here at South Elementary in West Fargo last spring, when his principal, Loren Kersting talked about organ donation.
Loren Kersting – South Elementary Principal: “It is what Alexa's Hope is all about.”
It would be the touching story of Mr. Kersting's daughter Alexa, who died waiting for a lung transplant that hit Mikey, two weeks before he died.
Bobbi Fetzer: “And Michael John had come home from school and said ‘I want to donate my organs.’ Little did we know, two weeks later, we would be making that decision.
This story may have ended so differently. Both of these families could have ended up losing their children. But tonight, because of an unselfish decision to donate,
Bobbi Fetzer: “He was a giver. Definitely a giver.”
Mia is alive, and has the heart of a little boy who at the age of 7, knew he would make a difference one day.
Bobbi Fetzer: “And it is a comfort knowing that he is still there.”
Tom Brickey: “It’s the most incredible gift that anyone can give, which is the gift of life for your child.”
Bobbi Fetzer: “He and Mia are going to do great things together.”