You’re in your late 20s with good health, a regular workout routine, a job you love, a great family, and a fur-baby. Life is good… until you get news that could stop your heart.
Five years ago, Kadie Neuharth, Unum client manager and customer, was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy. It’s a rare heart condition that restricts the amount of blood your heart can pump to the rest of your body. After multiple tests and frequent visits to the Mayo Clinic, she got news: Her only hope for a cure was a heart transplant.
“To get put on a transplant list, you have to be healthy enough to recover, but sick enough to be considered for a new organ,” Kadie said. At the time, she was still in good condition, so she was turned away.
Then, in May 2018, Kadie was on a trip to Seattle when her kidneys began to fail, which escalated her heart condition. She was discouraged from flying home because of the change in oxygen levels and air pressure. But Unum’s Travel Assist Program sent a medical professional to Seattle to fly with her, providing an oxygen tank and constant monitoring to keep her stable throughout the trip.
As soon as she returned home, Kadie applied for the transplant list for a second time and was accepted.
She quickly moved to Arizona to be close to the Mayo Clinic and surrounded by a larger population, with faster organ placement rates. Fortunately, Kadie was covered by Unum’s critical illness coverage for her lodging – nearly three months – in Pheonix.
A month after relocating, she got her new heart and miraculously recovered in half the typical time. After the procedure, Unum’s short term disability insurance covered the remainder of her time away from work.
“I probably spent a total of 30 minutes on all three benefits combined – travel assist program, critical illness and short term disability – it was wonderful. I didn’t have to do much, but it was a relief to know I had money in the bank.” said Kadie.
Less than six months later, Kadie has returned to the office and is transitioning back into the routine of work where she feels “super fulfilled.”
February is American Heart Month and Kadie is spreading awareness about cardiovascular health. As an ambassador for the American Heart Association, she has shared her story with drivers education classes, wellness fairs and Rotary clubs.
We all have moments where we think we’re invincible, but Kadie is here to tell you it can happen to anybody. “I look completely healthy. People don’t think heart trouble will impact people like us,” Kadie said. “Everyone thinks it’s not going to happen to them.”
Visit unum.com to learn how our benefits can help you in your time of need.