Kathy Keller

Kathy Keller

Kathy Keller: My 16-year-old son Garrett is a heart transplant recipient. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which required several open-heart surgeries. He did well but had complications including a significant stroke. When he was 12 his heart failed and he was listed for transplant. After two years he finally received his gift of life on his 14th birthday in 2011! During his wait and recovery, we had to split the family across two states. As the family breadwinner, I continued working to support us. My husband Dennis and I saw each other for 15 minutes twice a week while we switched who was with Garrett in Philadelphia and who was with our younger son in Virginia. We did this for 7 months because Garrett’s recovery was full of complications. He spent 12 weeks in the Intensive Care Unit as well as 8 weeks in inpatient rehabilitation. Garrett is a fighter and though he has deficits from both his first stroke and his difficult recovery he is doing amazingly well.