Ron and Connor: Heart survivors with a special connection - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ron and Connor: Heart survivors with a special connection

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(KWWL) -

Ron is now recuperating with his family by his side after successful open heart surgery. Following his surgery, Ron asked to speak to one person in particular-his 9-year old buddy Connor Helgens, a heart disease survivor. 

The two go back ever since Connor was just two years old. 

Ron first met Connor at the age of two, when he was featured as the Cedar Valley Heart Disease Survivor. 

At the time, Connor was battling with a congenital heart defect. He's had three surgeries. The first when he was just six days old. Today, he's a survivor.

If you ask him how his heart is doing, he'll tell you.

"It's good, hadn't had any problems," said Helgen.   

Over the years, Ron has kept in touch with Connor, attending the annual Cedar Valley Heart Walk. But now, Ron will walk alongside Connor. 

"He survived, so he's gonna have a hat like me too now, and we're going to be walking in the heart walk together," said Helgens. "So hope you get better soon."

Connor's mom Laura Helgens, says the walk is one their family cherishes, because everyday is a blessing. 

"The doctors said you need to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best," said Laura Helgens. "So it was quite a few dark days back then. But we all came out just fine and happy."

Ron and Connor, fellow survivors who share a heart for a little humor too. 

Connor is in third grade right now. His mother says he's just as happy and active as any other nine year old, playing both baseball and basketball.

The Helgens wish Ron the best in his recovery.

Ron's recovery is expected to take several weeks.

We can't wait to have Ron back in the newsroom. You can share your best wishes for Ron on the KWWL Facebook page where he will see your messages.

We wish Ron a speedy recovery and look forward to his return to the news desk, where he has worked for the past 42 years. 

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