Athlete continues to excel after multiple heart surgeries
Tyler Reynolds’ life started with open heart surgery when he was a newborn. He went on to become an athlete, and his most recent surprise surgery hasn’t slowed him down.
Twenty-five years ago, Reynolds had his first corrective surgery at NYU Langone as a newborn baby. The two arteries designed to carry blood to the heart were switched and connected to the wrong heart chambers. He still grew up to be someone who likes to bike 100 miles.
In his 20s, Reynolds suffered from what he said felt like a six-year long heart attack. Because of his peak physical condition though, all of his heart scans and stress tests came back normal.
“I mean, when you pass all the tests, what else is there to really look for?” said Reynolds.
He then connected with Dr. Dan Halpern, MD, medical director of NYU Langone’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, who wanted to further investigate his symptoms. What he discovered was clogged arteries – something he typically only sees in older patients.
“We saw it was almost completely occluded,” said Dr. Halpern. “It was actually a complete miracle that Tyler didn’t have any life-threatening events, especially when doing exercise.”
The surgery was performed by NYU Langone Health congenital cardiothoracic surgeons Ralph S. Mosca, MD, and T.K. Susheel Kumar, MD. His cardiologist Dr. Halpern says Tyler was up doing laps around the hospital within days.
"It took about six months to get clearance to do what I would consider a real workout,” said Reynolds. “I still want to do some fun half-marathons, fun triathlons. Yeah, fun. They're fun events."