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Breakfast will support St. Joseph pastor

Father Paul Jarvis felt good enough in July to take part in the Commode Championship.

Five months after a near death experience, Father Paul Jarvis feels pretty good. He’s had to scale back his work schedule a bit, but he’s as upbeat as ever.

“I feel like I got my spirit back,” said Jarvis.

This past spring, Jarvis underwent emergency surgery for an aortic dissection, a serious condition in which a tear develops in the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart. Blood surges through the tear in the middle layer of the aorta, causing the inner and middle layers to separate. The condition is often fatal.

Feeling what he thought were classic heart attack pains, Jarvis had a fellow member of the St. Joseph community take him to the Apple Valley Medical Clinic. The medical staff there quickly diagnosed Jarvis with the condition and sent him to the Fairview Southdale Hospital.

It seems there was some divine intervention, as the surgeon who operated on Jarvis is one of the best in the country when it comes to aortic dissection. The surgery took eight hours and the road to recovery is ongoing.

“I still need to take a nap or two a day and I’ve had to slow down a bit. The typical person would be surprised how much a pastor is involved in,” said Jarvis.

While it was a scary event in his life, Jarvis said he knew God’s hand was there. As he was being brought into surgery, a nurse said hello to him. It turned out Jarvis had attended a retreat with the nurse.

She asked if she could inform others of his health crisis and he said yes. Within hours, Jarvis said hundreds of people were holding him in prayer and sending their concern in cards, letters and emails.

“I received over a thousand cards and letters,” said Jarvis.

Jarvis said the outpouring of support, from not only his own parishioners but from people throughout the Christian community, was humbling.

“I am so thankful for the support that was shown to me and my family during my crisis,” said Jarvis.

Jarvis is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Grand Knight Tom Gurney said their number one job as an organization is to take care of one and another. The group will hold a pancake breakfast to help raise money to cover Jarvis’ medical expenses.

The pancake breakfast will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at St. Joseph Social Hall, 13900 Biscayne Ave. A free will offering will be accepted.

“Christians of all denominations are invited to attend,” said Gurney.

While ostensibly the event will raise money to help with his medical expenses, Jarvis said he sees it as a chance to personally thank all the people who have supported him through this time.

“I am really excited to be able to thank all the people who have supported me,” Jarvis said. “I think it will be really cool.”

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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