Young mother undergoes heart surgery after near death experience

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by Brooke Katz

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 15 at 2:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Krystal Surratt looks like any young and healthy mom, but the scar on her chest is a reminder of how close she came to death.

"They call it my boo boo," Krystal told WHAS11 News as her two boys played by her side. Krystal was born with heart defects, but they never stopped her from being active. Even when she found out she was pregnant with twins, her pregnancy was problem-free.

"My pregnancy was great," Krystal said. "I think I was probably the happiest pregnant person in the world."

Krystal was just 24 when she had her two boys. She was a busy single mom, and a student at EKU. She didn't give it a second thought when she started feeling winded about a month after giving birth.

"It would feel like my heart would flutter or even stop, then it would beat really hard three or four times," Krystal recalled. She hoped for the best, but her symptoms eventually got worse.

"I would pray every night that I was okay, because I have two kids to take care of," Krystal said.

Krystal knew it was more than just the stress of being a new mom. Almost a full year after the symptoms started, her family rushed her to the hospital where the doctors told her the reality of her condition. She was in congestive heart failure, and her organs were failing. She needed surgery immediately.

"I still don't think I realize that I was almost dead," Krystal said.

It took time, but now Krystal can wrestle and play with her kids. She hopes her story inspires other women to listen to their bodies, especially since February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men.
 

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