Minnehaha County man lives after fishing equipment pierces his heart

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Todd Thesenvitz had his heart pierced by a bottom bouncer while fishing with his family in Clark County on July 7th.

“I’ve heard of fishing stories and stuff like that, just nothing like this,” Todd said.

The family was having a standard day of fishing, with six walleyes in the live well and also three perch. A little before noon Todd hooked into a large perch, as his wife prepared to net it, the line snapped sending the bottom bouncing hurdling directly towards Todd’s chest, lodging itself between two ribs and into his heart. Todd wanted to take it out but his daughter, a nurse stopped him.

“I just knew how serious it was and as soon as I saw him I knew that it was in his heart most likely. I really thought I was going to lose my dad that day,” Todd’s daughter Keanna said.

“They said if I had pulled it out, in 30 minutes I would have been dead, would have bled out internally,” Todd said.

Todd’s wife took control of the boat as his daughter called for help but they still had a long way to shore and a long fight ahead of them.

“It was the longest 13 minutes that I can ever say that I’ve had. On the way to Watertown, it was, really, this is how I’m going to lose my husband,” Todd’s wife Marie Thesenvitz said.

After he was taken by ambulance to Watertown he was airlifted to Sioux Falls for life-saving surgery.

“One in a million chance that this would ever happen and I just feel awfully lucky that everything went the way it did,” Todd said.

This experience has provided a new perspective for the whole family.

“There might not be a tomorrow so we might as well try to live as much as we can for today and everything will work out in the end,” Keanna said.

Everyone in the family said as soon as they get the green light from the doctor they will be back on the lake fishing.

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