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A Case of COVID-19 Uncovers A Serious Heart Condition: Kerri's Story

May 18, 2021
Kerri Bryles, 45, a mother, wife, and pharmacist, always led a healthy lifestyle and loved participating in boot camp workouts. In November 2020, Kerri’s husband, Tim, tested positive for COVID-19. Shortly after, Kerri began feeling ill and noticed her oxygen levels were low. She decided to seek treatment at a local hospital where she tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital was at capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic and transferred Kerri to St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Mo. 

The St. Luke's medical team discovered Kerri was in cardiogenic shock, a serious condition that occurs when your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to the brain, kidneys, and other vital organs. She also had torrential mitral regurgitation, a condition in which your heart's mitral valve doesn't close tightly, allowing blood to flow backward in your heart.

Jeremy Leidenfrost, MD, a St. Luke's Heart and Vascular Institute cardiothoracic surgeon, determined Kerri’s heart needed support and placed the Impella 5.0® heart pump. Kerri continued to improve and regained strength. After five days, Impella 5.0 was removed. Dr. Leidenfrost performed open mitral valve replacement surgery and on December 18, 2020, Kerri returned home with normal heart function and was reunited with her children.

Kerri is now back to her boot camp workouts and her busy routine as a mom.