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Published May 31, 2012, 09:18 PM

Devils Lake Exchange Student, After Aneurysm, Thanks Those Who Saved Him

FARGO - Six months ago, Norwegian foreign exchange student Magnus Fenes suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm while attending school in Devils Lake.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAZ

FARGO - Six months ago, Norwegian foreign exchange student Magnus Fenes suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm while attending school in Devils Lake.

He was airlifted to Fargo and given little chance of survival.

Months later, he has returned to Sanford Hospital and thanked those who saved him.

No one is more humble, good-natured and thankful than the Norwegian 17-year-old. On Thursday, the Lifeflight crew that airlifted him, Sanford nurses who cared for him and the neurosurgeon who performed the life-saving operation on him all became part of his thank you circle.

“How lucky I was, because they say there are so few people who survive and if they survive they usually have a disability and I don't have any disability. I don’t really understand it,” Magnus said.

If you recall, Magnus came from far above the Arctic Circle in Norway to Devils Lake on a student exchange program. His parents flew to North Dakota this week to see him graduate from high school in Devils Lake. This young man who was not expected to live is now talking about the miraculous recovery.

“Kind of incredible. I don't know why I deserve it, because there are so many else who deserve it more than me," Magnus said.

“I think this is like a dream,” Magnus' mom Ann Paulson said.

His parents are quick to point out the irony of it all. Because of his home town's location above the Arctic Circle, specialty trauma care is hours away.

“If this would have happened in Norway, it never would have happened like this. I know for sure, so thank you so much for helping him when he needed it most,” Paulson said.

On Thursday, Magnus presented an engraved flag from Norway to Dr. Hutchison, the neurosurgeon who himself was unsure of Magnus' prognosis. Now, a teenager headed back to Norway, healed, happy and a young man who will never forget us.

“I will say you thank you so much for helping us when we needed it so much. Without them we couldn’t have had our son back,” Paulson said.

“Still don't understand how lucky I was. I think maybe in a year or two when I grow up, when I actually get older and get gray hair, maybe then," Magnus said.

After finishing school back in Norway, Magnus plans to become an engineer. He and his family say they will always stay connected to North Dakota.

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