25 Faces: Kaylee McFadden
Last Sunday, we heard from Nancy McFadden about her story of tragedy to triumph. At Nancy’s Zumba class it’s more than just a class, it’s a Zumba family. Nancy supports each and every one of us on our fitness and weight loss journeys as well as supporting us through difficult times in our personal lives. This past summer we had the opportunity to repay her and support her, her family, and her daughter on their own journey when Nancy’s daughter Kaylee McFadden was experiencing heart problems.
This past summer Kaylee, only 15, began experiencing classic heart attack symptoms. Days filled with tests at Seattle Children’s Hospital to determine the cause of the symptoms and what could make a healthy young woman’s heart suddenly so “unhappy” finally led to the diagnosis of Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart.
Inspiration knows no age and Kaylee demonstrates that beyond doubt. She shows strength beyond her years and through everything this darling girl has been through she’s had a smile on her face.
Kate: You underwent a LOT of tests before anyone determined what was making you sick. What was it like for you when you found out that your symptoms were due to Myocarditis?
Kaylee: I was very relieved to at least know what was wrong. But at the same time I was scared because I didn’t know what the next step was for me and I didn’t know if it was something I would have to live with the rest of my life and if it would affect my daily life.
K: Once you’d been diagnosed with Myocarditis, there were multiple times where you reverted to ill health due to various complications. How were you able to stay positive in light of these setbacks and always have a smile on your face?
KM: God gives me the strength I need to keep looking up and stay positive. I remember what happened to my mom after her terrible accident and how she maintained a positive attitude throughout her hardship. Through her circumstances it even put her in a place where she was able to share her faith with people and bring people to the Lord. And now I think, it’s my turn to try and stay positive while I share my faith with others. I also think of how I am lucky to be alive and not have an even worse condition and how I should be thankful for that. Also, it has shown me that many people care for me and are supporting me through everything, which helps me keep my positive attitude.
K: How has this experience changed your life?
KM: It’s been a rough 10 months, and I still have to go to the hospital a few times a month to run more tests to make sure my heart is healing. They still don’t know why I got the Myocarditis and why I still feel so sick with daily nausea and headaches, but this experience makes me value life more because in the hospital I wasn’t even sure if I was going to live or even be the same again.
K: What would you tell other young adults who are on their own journey?
KM: I would say, just keep in mind that if you are wanting things in your life to turn out a certain way, and they aren’t going how you want them to, just know that God may have something better in store for you. Keep positive and trust in Him and be thankful for all of the positive things you do have.