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Stories of hope

Jayde Kelly: A renewed heart

Jayde, transplant recipient

My journey began shortly after I did a half marathon in 2017. I was starting to feel sick, I was not able to sleep lying down, I was vomiting and I finally went to the hospital. I was admitted with heart failure. If I were to wait any longer I would’ve passed away.

From there I was put on a left ventricle assistive device. At that point recovery was not good. I needed to go back into surgery and get what was called a central mag. From there, I was transported to get a second ventricle device put in to wait for a heart transplant. Most people don’t survive on that, it was a heroic event on the doctors behalf to get me on this device.

I was healthy enough to go home and live my best life waiting for a heart. I waited until 2019 when I got the call.

Post transplant I encountered many challenges one being pneumonia the other being kidney failure where I needed to be on dialysis. I was not discharged until several months later, in May. I came home and slowly started recovery, making exercise part of my daily life again. I also downloaded from the transplant a new gift; the gift of baking! I turned that skill into something wonderful by baking and taking goods back to the hospital where I was treated during COVID. I would drop it off at the door and leave.

I continued to train for a half marathon and I made a wonderful connection with my transplant surgeon, that portion of my journey was covered by local news. We then did a half marathon together in 2021. I live my best life with my children and my husband and my friends. I would not be alive today if it weren’t for the selfless act of another human making the decision to donate organs. I plan on living each day and embracing every moment to live my best life to honor my donor.

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