UPDATE: Funeral to be Held Friday for Ankeny Boy Who Died Awaiting Heart Transplant
Ankeny High School student Joe Tourte, 16, died Sunday evening at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital from health issues while waiting for a heart transplant. A visitation will be held Thursday night, with the funeral set for Friday morning.
Funeral services will be held Friday morning for Joe Tourte, a 10th-grader at Ankeny High School who died Sunday at an Iowa City hospital while awaiting a heart transplant.
According to his obituary on the Ankeny Funeral Home website, a visitation for Joe will be held from 5 to 8 pm. Thursday at the funeral home, 1510 W. First St. The funeral service is set for 11 a.m. Friday at Ankeny First United Methodist Church, 206 S.W. Walnut St.
Joe was known for his big smile and kind heart, said his obituary. He enjoyed movies, his iPad and spending time with his dog, Odie.
Memorial contributions may be made to Ankeny Community School (C/O Joe Tourte) or ChildServe.
Share your memories of Ankeny student Joe Tourte below in the comments section.
According to his family's Care Pages website, Joe died Sunday evening in the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics after facing various health problems as he waited to be placed on the list to receive a heart transplant.
"Joe fought long and hard during this journey," his sister, Sara Tourte, wrote on the page Sunday night. "My brother was always an angel on Earth, now he's an angel in heaven."
Ankeny Supports the Tourte Family
Ankeny residents recently came together to show their support for Joe and his family, raising more than $8,500 during a chili supper fundraiser held Friday night at the high school.
Joe was diagnosed with an undetected heart condition following a visit to the doctor last year. On Nov. 15, Joe went in for an endoscopy to determine what was making him ill.
During a chest x-ray, doctors discovered Joe had an enlarged heart, as well as congestive heart failure. He was airlifted from Des Moines to the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Once he was taken to UIHC, doctors determined Joe would need a heart transplant.
Joe was waiting to be placed on the transplant list until his health improved. Sara told Ankeny Patch last week Joe was fighting high blood pressure and an infection in his lungs.
On Jan. 19, Sara updated friends and loved ones on Joe's condition through the family's Care Page.
"To say today was a rough day would be an understatement," she wrote. "We talked with our doctors today and there is nothing they can surgically do to help Joe's lungs. Right now, with him not producing urine, things are not looking like they will turn around. Joe's infection is not slowing down and has continued to infect his blood."
"To be positive, I'm praying for Joe to be happy no matter where life takes him," she continued. "Right now, Joe is in God's hands. I know God won't steer us wrong. God has a plan for Joe."