Heart transplant

Maryland Woman Runs Half Marathon With Surgeon After Heart Transplant

A Maryland woman shares her story of running a half marathon with her surgeon months after receiving a heart transplant.

“I’ve been a runner for as long as I can remember”, Jayde Kelly told NBC Washington.

After experiencing heart palpitations, Kelly was diagnosed with giant cell myocarditis, a life-threatening condition. She received a pump while on the transplant list.

Kelly waited years on the transplant list until a matching donor was found in early 2020, and Ezequiel Molina, a heart surgeon, performed the transplant at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in DC.


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Kelly’s recovery has not been easy. She developed pneumonia and kidney failure after the transplant and spent five months in hospital at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I got extremely weak and lost a lot of muscle mass and a lot of body weight,” Kelly said.

But when she finally regained her strength, Kelly wanted to return to her passion for running, this time with her surgeon by her side. Kelly and Molina started training together and completed a half marathon together in November 2021.

“Finishing the race was very emotional,” said Molina. “It was one of the best days of my life.”


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