In 2017, when Isaak Sackett of Watkins was 13 years old, he experienced a blood clot in his leg and lungs after playing football and hockey. As a result, Isaak, who is now 16 and the son of Paul and Melissa Sackett, was diagnosed with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome and additional autoimmune kidney and skin issues.
“I figured he just got banged up when he started complaining about pain in his leg,” Melissa said. “And so I kind of told him to take some ibuprofen and rest and you’ll be fine. Turns out it’s a blood clot and I feel terrible, because I’m a nurse, so I’m like, ‘Hello!’ So that put him on blood thinners for the rest of his life.”
Melissa said Isaak can’t play hockey and football anymore, but he has been coaching his younger brother’s hockey team, which keeps him involved in the sports he enjoys.
“(He) can’t play contact sports at all, because most kids, if they whack their head, you worry about a concussion,” Melissa said. “But with him you worry about a brain bleed.”
Meanwhile, Isaak does distance rollerblading sports.
“He (did this) last September, and then again this September,” Melissa said. “He’s going to do the … Northshore Inline Marathon (in Duluth) — the full 26 miles.”
The Sacketts were worried about Isaak being bullied at school, because the medications he was on made him gain about 50 pounds, so they moved him to Eden Valley-Watkins High School.
“Everything (has been) going amazingly well,” Melissa said, “and the students and staff, with all of this, have been just amazing, very supportive.”
The Tim Orth Memorial Foundation support will help the Sacketts pay for Isaak’s medical bills, Melissa said.
“His medical bills would have been over $80,000,” she said. “He’s on 18 pills a day, so we pay for medications. … I mean, yes, there’s insurance and everything, but that has to be paid for too.”