Giant Cell Myocarditis, Heart Transplant

When Kim came to Penn, she was increasingly short of breath and knew it may be something serious. When physicians quickly diagnosed her with a rare and fast-moving heart condition called giant cell myocarditis, Kim realized just how serious it was.

After 10 years of training, Kim and her son took a trip together to Hawaii to practice Krav Maga, an Israeli form of martial arts. When she returned home, she became increasingly short of breath and decided to go to her local emergency room. She had no idea what could be the problem, but the doctor at her local hospital ran a series of tests, and determined that the problem was with her heart. They decided that Kim needed a higher level of care, and she was immediately transferred to Penn.

Upon arrival, physicians at Penn quickly diagnosed Kim with giant cell myocarditis, an extremely rare and aggressive heart condition that causes inflammation of the heart muscle. After an emergency meeting of Penn’s Heart Transplant Team, it was determined the best course of treatment was transplantation, and Kim was placed on the transplant list. Kim's condition has progressed quickly, but the speed of the plan gave her confidence. Within 48 hours, Penn received the call that a heart was available.

Kim has recovered remarkably. 60-days post-transplant, she was back to leading a board meeting and has continued to thrive, tackling each milestone with resiliency. Her positive attitude has allowed her to continue doing all the things that make her who she is.

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