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Larry Wilson went through two heart surgeries earlier this year, receiving a total of seven blood transfusions, which helped save his life. Perham’s annual blood drive is coming up Thursday, June 13. Joe Bowen/FOCUS

A good heart


Doctors told Larry Wilson that he would have only about a year to live unless he underwent surgery to replace two valves in his heart.

The subsequent open heart surgery he underwent on Feb. 7 replaced his aortic and tricuspid valves, which had slowly degraded over time, Wilson said, resulting in chronic shortness of breath and a lack of stamina, among other symptoms.

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Joe Bowen, a 2009 graduate of St. John's University, is the newest member of the Perham Focus team. He enjoys writing, rugby, and hamburgers.