Benefit planned for Ellendale teen athlete
Carter Flatland, a three-sport athlete for NRHEG, smiles at the keyboard in his hospital room earlier this month. Carter had a complete heart block; a pacemaker was installed in the 15-year-old on Nov. 8. A benefit to help defray medical costs is set for Sunday. Submitted photo
A routine sports physical for a seemingly healthy 15-year-old turned into a several-day stay and surgery to install a pacemaker.
Now Carter Flatland’s friends, family and community are rallying to show their support for the three-sport athlete with a benefit this weekend.
It started Oct. 28, when Carter, a freshman in high school who participates in sports at New Richland Hartland Ellendale Geneva (NRHEG) public school, failed that routine physical.
A low pulse rate – 30 beats per minute – prompted the medical staff to recommend an EKG for further testing.
Five days later, he was admitted to the emergency department pediatric intensive care unit at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys campus, in Rochester.
After many tests and scans, doctors concluded Carter had a complete heart block. The lower ventricles of his heart were failing him, his mother Jolleen Flatland said.
Though his heartrate dropped to an all-time low of 20 beats per minute, “he remained symptom-free and strong,” she said.
On Nov. 8, Carter had successful surgery to install a pacemaker, but the healing continues.
“The good news is that he’s strong and able to conquer any obstacle ahead of him,” Flatland said. “Whether he is to be strong on the field, strong in his family, strong in his academics and activities, or strong in his healing, the road ahead for Carter is going to be strength.”
He’s the oldest of six children, and participates in football, wrestling and baseball for NRHEG, is on the A honor roll, and loves music.
His father, Brian Flatland, is a member of the Ellendale Fire Department. The benefit is sponsored by the Ellendale Fire Relief Association; proceeds will go toward medical bills and other expenses.
Anyone who is unable to attend but wants to help can send a check to the Flatland family, PO Box 97, Ellendale, 56026.
If You Go… Benefit for Carter:
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Refuge, 702 Third St., Ellendale
What: Sloppy joes, Jan’s potato salad, chips, and dessert
Why: Help defray medical expenses
Cost: Free will donation