Living With a Heavy Heart

Exploring the life of a student with Tetralogy of Fallot

Photo+courtesy+of+Andrea+Salazar+pictured%3A+Kylie+Raymond
Back to Article
Back to Article

Living With a Heavy Heart

Photo courtesy of Andrea Salazar pictured: Kylie Raymond

Photo courtesy of Andrea Salazar pictured: Kylie Raymond

Photo courtesy of Andrea Salazar pictured: Kylie Raymond

Photo courtesy of Andrea Salazar pictured: Kylie Raymond

Nathan Martin, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When junior Kylie Raymond first entered the world, she came out blue. Not caused by a skin condition, but by a heart problem called Tetralogy of Fallot. In 2001, Raymond’s mother gave birth to her in Germantown, Tennessee. After delivery, doctors sent her on an emergency helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville when they saw the two holes in her heart. At the medical center, they placed stents in her heart to help blood flow.

Raymond’s condition only bothered her as a child. Luckily, Raymond says her condition only limits her a little when trying to carry out everyday tasks.

“It doesn’t really bother me much, it did when I was younger,” Raymond said. “In eighth grade, I got tired easily and the scar on my chest is ugly.”

Throughout Raymond’s life, she has experienced four open heart surgeries. After the surgeries, Raymond commonly felt dreadful.

“After my surgeries, it is very hard for me to breathe since my chest hurts so bad,” Raymond said. “Also, it was hard to walk because the pain was so severe.”
As a kindergartener, Raymond underwent a surgery to replace her pulmonary valve with a prosthetic one. She continues on to talk of a certain anecdote she remembered from the experience.

“I remember before my surgery, they had to put in drainage tubes and after they had to take them out while I was awake,” Raymond said. “I still have dreams about when they pulled them out and the blood flew all over the walls.”

When Raymond reaches her mid-twenties, she plans to undergo yet another surgery, and hopefully her last. She feels empowered to undergo this in her future.

“Honestly, I’m ready for this surgery,” Raymond said. “I feel like I have gone through this enough that I am ready for my final surgery. It will feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest.”
Raymond feels ready to take on life everyday and wants to lead a typical life like everyone else. She even plans to attend Midwestern State University after high school.

“I will not let my future be defined by Tetralogy of Fallot,” Raymond said. “If anything, I just want to be stronger than the condition in my everyday life.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email