Heart transplant patient Cameron Ulrich dies


ROCHESTER, Minn. — Seven-year-old Cameron Ulrich, the Oak Park Heights boy who recieved a heart transplant in May, passed away Wednesday night at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester surrounded by his mother and staff who have worked with the family over the past 10 months during Cameron’s stay there.

Ulrich’s death came as his family was preparing their home so Cameron could return before the new school year started, according to their CaringBridge site.

A benefit was held for the family in January to help with their medical costs. It was hosted by ‘Cameron’s Crew,’ which included family and friends of the Ulrichs. In a pre-event interview with the Gazette, Cameron’s father, Rob Ulrich, described his son as a happy, smiling and polite child who was a good reader, liked math and loved school, liked playing video games and swinging on the swings at recess.

Cameron Ulrich was a fighter, born with a condition called “situs invertus” where the abdominal organs in the body were flipped backward. The condition resulted in him having multiple surgeries during his young life.

Cameron Ulrich recieved his heart transplant May 15 after spending just under 200 days on an ECMO machine which kept his heart and lungs pumping until recieving his heart transplant. Cameron Ulrich’s doctor said it was the longest known time a person had spent on an ECMO machine,

The Ulrich family released the following statement Thursday:

“Our brave, strong, loving little boy, Cameron Edward Ulrich, died peacefully last night, Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at the age of seven. Quite unexpectedly, he just stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating, and despite immediate efforts to resuscitate him, he passed away,” They said. “We are grateful for the donor family who gave him another chance, and to the staff and physicians who have cared for him and worked so hard to give us more time together. We appreciate the prayers and support from all of our family, friends, church, and the community, especially over the past year; and will rely on our faith and all of the prayers and support from everyone to sustain us during this difficult time.”

Ulrich is survived by his parents Rob and Kari, sister Sydney and relatives and friends who loved him dearly. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Contact Avery Cropp at avery.cropp@ecm-inc.com