PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Ten-year-old Brady Kellerman was a healthy kid, with no major medical history, until the fourth of July of last year.
"I was playing with my friends at my cousin's house, and I kept jumping in the water and I kind of felt weird, so I just sat down for a little bit, and then I passed out, and my mom had to do CPR," said Brady.
"Brady ended up going into cardiac arrest that day. I started CPR on him, and with the help of my family, we all worked together to do it. My in-laws, my sister-in-law, my husband, so it was pretty chaotic and hectic," said Brady's mother, Kelly Kellerman.
Brady added, "and then my aunt called 911 for the ambulance. I went to the hospital, and I was there for 17 days. A lot of people helped me there."
After CPR was administered for 16 minutes in the emergency department of UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Brady was in cardiogenic shock that evolved into cardiac arrest.
"I was pretty scared and nervous about what was going to happen," said Brady.
"His surgeon, who actually did his open-heart surgery, did ECMO on him, a life-saving measure in the emergency room. And that decision, along with early CPR, is what really saved his life," said Kelly.
"We've thought back about it quite a few times, and the timing for something this tragic, was perfect. If she isn't there, and my family, our family wasn't there, we would have different results. So you know, we're eternally grateful for what everybody did," said Brady's father, Jim.
The Kellermans say one of Brady's doctors, Dr. Mario Castro, then performed a successful open-heart surgery to repair his heart condition.
Kelly said, "He was transferred to the PICU and about three days later, they did a cardiac catherization on him, and found that he had an anomalous left coronary artery. It's just a rare genetic birth defect that a lot of times isn't caught until it's too late. What happens is the coronary artery, which is the artery that supplies the heart with blood and oxygen, was coming from the wrong area and kind of pinched off. So that's what happened to Brady when he went into cardiac arrest. His heart was not getting the blood supply or the oxygen supply because of the defect."
Brady now has been named Children's Miracle Network Patient Champion for 2022.
The Kellerman family knows how lucky they are. Most kids wouldn't survive this, but with Kelly's history of teaching CPR, and the brilliant doctors at UPMC Children's, Brady did survive. And he's doing better than ever.
Brady said, "I really like playing baseball with my dad, and video games like Fortnite."
Brady was happy to get home, but actually didn't mind being in the hospital, once they knew he was on the upswing.
"Even though he was sick in the hospital, they really kind of make it feel like you're not sick in the hospital. There's a lot of activities and things for those kids to do," said Kelly.
"I really liked this one room. It was called the sun room, and it was like really, really hot. We always went there, like every day, and I really liked the activities we did," said Brady.
Jim said, "One of the other great things when Brady was there, was the people in Child Life. They provided a lot of things like music, instruments for him to play in his room. Also, arts and crafts. They actually took us down to the real nice arts and crafts room that they have. They played bingo with him, and they got to win prizes. It was really incredible."
"During the time I was at Children's Hospital, I was really thankful for Dr. Castro and Dr. Zinn for helping me," said Brady.
The Kellermans will forever be grateful for each other, and for Brady's time at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
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