MeritCare Heart Center Presents Confident Living with an ICD

For mother and son Julie and Chris Dahl of Fargo, the similarities go right to the heart. Both have Brugada syndrome, a rare heart-rhythm disorder; and both require implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). For eight years they've experienced the lifesaving benefits – and challenges – of living with ICDs.The Dahls will speak at MeritCare Heart Center's third annual "Confident Living with an ICD" conference which will be held Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center in Moorhead.

For mother and son Julie and Chris Dahl of Fargo, the similarities go right to the heart. Both have Brugada syndrome, a rare heart-rhythm disorder; and both require implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). For eight years they've experienced the lifesaving benefits – and challenges – of living with ICDs.

The Dahls will speak at MeritCare Heart Center's third annual "Confident Living with an ICD" conference which will be held on Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center in Moorhead. With more people than ever requiring ICDs, Julie and Chris speak to the hearts of many about the intense life-giving jolt ICDs provide, and how to go on enjoying a high-quality lifestyle.

If you – or a family member – have an ICD, you're invited to this free conference. Past participants have expressed appreciation for the opportunity to share stories and learn strategies to live fully with this lifesaving technology. Health care professionals are welcome, too.

In addition to the Dahls, speakers at this year's conference include:

  • Sam Sears, Ph.D., national expert on ICD emotional support. Professor and director of the Health Psychology Program at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., Dr. Sears will focus on daily strategies to improve quality of life. With insight and humor, he captivates audiences and inspires better living.

  • Manuel Otero, M.D., and Dr. Chris Pierce, M.D., MeritCare Heart Center electrophysiologists. Specialists in diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disturbances, Dr. Otero and Dr. Pierce will provide an update on various heart therapies and take audience questions.


Attendees at this year's conference will also have the opportunity to tour the Medtronic educational truck, complete with virtual surgical implant labs. The truck gives an "inside" look at how heart procedures are performed.

For more information about the conference or to register, please call (701) 234-5570.

Media Only Information:

You are invited to attend the conference. Also, speakers can be available for media interviews upon request. To make arrangements, please contact MeritCare Marketing Services at (701) 234-2000, and ask for the on-call staff member to be paged on pager 1715. You're also invited to tour the Medtronic truck – and be the first in your newsroom to "perform" heart surgery. Please note:

  • Julie and Chris Dahl will make their presentation – "My Guardian Angel" – shortly after 10 a.m.

  • Local experts Dr. Otero and Dr. Pierce will speak at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.

  • Keynote speaker Dr. Sears will present "The Amazing Race: TLC for ICD Patients and Families" at 1:30 p.m.