Former television personality Kelly Landry was hospitalised during her first pregnancy with a failing heart.
It was due to a condition she had unknowingly lived with since birth, and it was a diagnosis that saved her life.
“I actually first noticed something irregular with my heart when I was a teenager, but because I was fit and healthy and [played a lot of] sport, they never actually diagnosed it,” the 37-year-old former Getaway host told The Morning Show earlier today.
In 2011, when she was pregnant with her first child Charlize, who is now five, Landry was admitted to hospital after suffering sustained atrial fibrillation. Her heart was failing.
“I very nearly had to have surgery and be defibrillated but they managed to return my heart to sinus [regular] rhythm and safely deliver my first child,” she said.
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A few days after the birth, Landry was diagnosed with left ventricular noncompaction and Ebstein’s anomaly, a rare heart defect.
“Basically, my heart muscle is malformed,” Landry said. “I had a brand new child and then there was a grim reaper who diagnosed our entire family with a congenital heart condition.”
Landry underwent surgery and received treatment but the birth of her second daughter – now three-year-old Thea – saw Landry hospitalised for four months during the pregnancy.
“Because there’d been strain from my first pregnancy, I went into the early stages of heart failure much sooner,” Landry, who was admitted to hospital around 20 weeks, said.
“To get through a day was one of the most challenging things. I was very determined to get my daughter to 37 weeks so she could be considered ‘term’. But it felt like I was breathing through a straw into a paper bag while running a marathon.”