Three open heart surgeries can't keep 8-year-old Dubuque boy dow - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Three open heart surgeries can't keep 8-year-old Dubuque boy down

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

On the outside, 8-year-old Carter Jaeger seems like any other kid his age.

But it's what's happened on the inside, and what he's had to overcome, that has set him apart.

Carter was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, which is four congenital heart defects.

"He's had three open heart surgeries, he has a pace maker, and last year, he had a heart catheterization, replacing the melody valve," his mom Lindsey Keller said.

Now Carter will serve as the heart ambassador for this year's Dubuque Area Heart Walk--all part of his road back to normalcy.

"Things are getting a lot better. There's times, you know, when we know he's needing a new surgery. He slows down, he sleeps more. He's not necessarily as active as all the other kids. I mean, he can't do all things other kids can do, but he certainly tries," Keller said.

Carter and his mom have raised more than $2,000 for this year's walk, and have been encouraged by support from a number of local businesses.

"It's definitely overwhelming at times, but it's great. To see all the support from family, friends, you know, people we don't even know, reaching out and wanting to support us. and businesses and things like that, it's just great," Keller said.

The Heart Walk is set for 9 a.m. Saturday morning. For more details, visit http://www2.heart.org/site/TR/HeartWalk/MWA-MidWestAffiliate?pg=entry&fr_id=2134.

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