Jet Feirn was born with a heart condition called Tetrology of Fallot – a "rare, complex" defect, the National Institute of Health says, that changes the normal flow of blood through the heart.
For the young Shoreview boy who has dreams of becoming a professional snowboarder, that meant two open heart surgeries before he started kindergarten, KARE 11 reported.
Luckily the 9-year-old – who can't stay off his mini backyard halfpipe – has an idol that dominates the giant competitive halfpipe, and even battled the exact same heart condition: two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White.
During the Winter Olympics, KARE ran a story about a letter Feirn had written to White. He told the gold medal-winner about their connection, both on the snow and inside their rib cage. White, like Feirn, had two heart surgeries before the age of 5.
Feirn had written the letter more than a year ago, without an answer. KARE says a viewer – Troy Michels of Litchfield – saw last month's special, had a professional connection to White, and reached out.
On Tuesday, a package straight from The Flying Tomato himself landed on Feirn's doorstep, KARE reports, with the same care and excitement White lands his signature McTwist. In it: an autographed snowboard, helmet, goggles, backpack and poster. Plus an onset of uncontrollable smiles and giggles that seemed to overtake the young Minnesota boy.
White's written message to Feirn? "Rock on."
"Just what I wanted," the 9-year-old squealed, holding on tightly to the signed snowboard that currently shoots past the top of his own head.
You can see KARE's update on Feirn below.