Former Herald sports editor Fee has heart transplantKevin Fee, a former longtime Herald sports reporter and editor, received a new heart in a transplant operation this morning at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
By: Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald
Longtime Herald sports reporter and editor Kevin Fee received a new heart in a transplant operation this morning at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
Fee has been at the hospital awaiting a new heart since Aug. 11, when he was told his heart had been badly damaged by an aneurism and could not be repaired.
Renee Fee said that her husband learned about 9 p.m. Sunday that a suitable donor heart was available, and he went into surgery about 4 a.m. today. The heart arrived at 6 a.m., and he was taken out of surgery about four hours later.
The initial assessment was that the transplant operation went well, she said.
“They said by tomorrow (Tuesday) they’ll have him sitting up,” she said. “Half the battle is done. I can handle the rest, taking care of him. That’ll be easy.”
Fee, communications supervisor at Minnkota Power Cooperative, worked as a sportswriter at the Herald for many years before becoming sports editor in 1998. He left that position last year to take the communications job at Minnkota.
Renee Fee said he probably will remain at Abbott Northwestern for 10 days. After that, they will stay with a sister in the metro area for two to three weeks so he can receive follow-up care at a clinic.
“His spirits have been wonderful,” she said. “He’s been so positive. He says, ‘My time wasn’t up.’ ”
In addition to his wife, Fee’s three daughters, his brother and two sisters are with him at the hospital, she said.
Fee had gone in for a physical in Grand Forks Aug. 6, and doctors at Altru determined there was a problem with his heart. He was flown to Minneapolis on Aug. 9 and told two days later that he would need a new heart.