Police officer who suffered heart attack on duty returns to West Fargo

WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – West Fargo Police Officer Tim Brown is back home after recovering from a heart attack in an Omaha hospital.

It happened while he was booking two women into the Cass County jail.

“Yesterday morning was really uplifting. There was a lot of laughter. A lot of tears and I will tell you it was all tears of joy,” West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness said.

Brown and his family met with the police department and city staff Monday morning. It’s remarkable given a short time ago Chief Denis Otterness says his medical team in Fargo told him Brown had a zero percent chance of surviving if he didn’t get a heart transplant.

“Fast forward two weeks later and his own heart is functioning at almost 100 percent. So, it’s nothing short of a miracle,” Otterness explained.

Otterness was thrilled to see support from the region and nationwide as the department got a lot of calls and cards sharing well wishes.

Brown has a long road ahead of him with possible physical and occupational therapy.
“This has really renewed a drive in him to get back with us someday,” Otterness said.

West Fargo Police has dealt with a lot of sadness this year as Lt. Adam Gustafson died from a heart attack in May.

Under state law, police officers are required to go through preemployment health screenings and physicals throughout their careers. That includes checking up on their hearts.

Otterness says when Brown was rehired in January, he had one of these checkups.

The department has had conversations in the last 10 days to see if those screenings need to be improved.

“We’re looking at, is that enough? Is that enough what’s required or is the city able to maybe do something on top of that?” Otterness asked.

Otterness is working with Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner to thank those who helped save Brown’s life.

“He’d like to meet with jail staff at some point that were right there to start lifesaving measures and we’re looking forward to that happening,” Otterness said.

A GoFundMe to raise money for Officer Brown and his family has been set up. Click here to donate.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News