Kelly Landry was about to give birth to her first baby when her heart stopped working.

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.

LISTEN: The difference between public and private healthcare when it comes to pregnancy and birth.

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.”

Kelly Landry arrives at the 2015 Prix de Marie Claire Awards at Fox Studios on April 21, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Getty)

Now, Landry is campaigning for awareness.

In Australia, heart disease is the biggest killer of women, according to the Heart FoundationAn Australian woman is three times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer, but it's not something we talk about.

"That's my message to all women out there," Landry said this morning. "If you feel like there is something not right - there are certain symptoms of a heart attack - get it checked out."

"A lot of people I know have saved their own lives by being insistent and getting a second or third opinion. Go and get an ultrasound of your heart if you're not sure about something. Go and get all the testing and rule it out. You only have one heart."

For more information on heart health, visit the Heart Foundation here.