Woman Getting Another Swing At Life After New Heart

HAZLE TOWNSHIP — A woman in Luzerne County is getting a second swing at life after undergoing a heart transplant.

Kayla Kelly, 20, from Drifton was born with a rare condition known as UHL’s disease.

The condition caused her to become tired and fatigued doing the smallest of things, even walking.

Thursday night Kayla did something she hasn’t done in 11 years, played softball. For Kayla, she isn’t just stepping into a batter’s box; she’s stepping into a brand new future.

Kayla received a heart transplant in February, 2012, giving her a second chance on life.

“I really don’t know how to explain it. It’s been nothing but wonderful, I’ve had ups and downs but it’s been incredible,” said Kayla.

Kayla was born with a rare heart condition known as UHL’s disease and was diagnosed at age 9.

She says the condition caused her to become extremely tired and she had to quit the softball team she was on.

“I wasn’t in pain but I used to get really tired, just get really tired when I did things, even when I would walk too fast or go up the stairs, even,” said Kayla.

Now with a new heart she’s getting a chance to play ball again.

Her boyfriend is on the team with her.

“I’ve seen how much she went through. It’s incredible, she’s a living angel. I’m glad she’s here,” said Kayla’s boyfriend Cory Roybi.

Coach Joseph Katona says he was more than happy to add Kayla to the roster.

“They texted me the one night, then they asked me and she got cleared from her doctor, I said she’s more than welcome to play,” said Katona.

Kayla says she has one message for everyone.

“I can’t stress organ donation enough. I can’t, even for myself.  There’s one person on the team that had three kidney transplants and he’s playing too, and it’s an incredible thing and it saves lives. I encourage everyone to sign their donor cards.”

Kayla says she was never able to swim because of her condition. Now she’s headed for vacation in Ocean City, Maryland on Friday.



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