I never imagined that a story of heart surgery could come with a side of laughter and gourmet hospital food. Yet here we are, with Kaylin Kellert, an Air Force veteran who, only a week post sternotomy and unroofing surgery, brings an inspiring tale of self-advocacy, resilience, and a surprising craving for Stanford’s vanilla pudding. Kaylin’s journey through the confusion of heart attack-like symptoms to the clarity of diagnosis with a myocardial bridge is as enlightening as it is emotional. She highlights the power of community after bonding with her “surgery soulmate” Liane Aigner, both finding solace and support on their concurrent paths to recovery. Kaylin’s progress reveals the complexities of navigating the military medical system and the importance of pushing for the care you deserve.
Transforming a dire medical narrative into one of hope and humor, this episode isn’t just about the trials of surgery but also about embracing the rollercoaster that follows. Kaylin’s post-op revelations—from the unexpected delight of hospital dining to the bewilderment of waking up with no memory of the operation or the pleasure of having the chest tube removed—offer a candid look at recovery’s unpredictable nature. We share in her moments of disorientation, the astonishingly swift two-and-a-half-hour surgery, all in, and the simple post-surgery comforts that can mean the world. Her positive mindset, the role of faith, and the belief that life’s events unfold ‘for you’—not ‘to you’—are powerful reminders for anyone facing their own battles. Her perspective is that of someone much further along in life experience as her age belies her wisdom and outlook. This is certainly an episode that’s as about as unorthodox as a heart patient eagerly anticipating the appeal of their hospital bed.
For more information about Imperfect Heart or Myocardial Bridges, visit www.myimperfectheart.com
Be sure to join the myocardial bridge support group facebook page as well to see Kaylin’s post discussed in the program as well as others going through the same issues we all have been through.