My Northern Wisconsin

Covering Ashland, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas Counties


Written by:  Lynne Bohn


February is American Heart Month, designated to encourage people to focus on their cardiovascular health.  That focus came one month earlier, in January, for Kim Kaletka when she noticed she was experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing.  "Just walking into school or work, I was out of breath," Kim shared.

After debating if these symptoms were something she needed to take seriously, she called the clinic, and they directed her to go straight to the emergency room.  Doctors considered she might have a blood clot or be having a heart attack, but tests revealed those options weren't the case.  Instead, Kim had fluid on her lungs.  She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  She spent three days in the hospital with moderate to severe readings for heart failure.

She was discharged from the hospital but had to wait three weeks to see a cardiologist.  Given she would break out into cold sweats and have trouble breathing with too much activity, Kim could not continue her work at the nursing home.  She also could not do much around the house except think.  She had time to think about the worst possible scenarios and to think of the bills that were mounting.

Her insurance company made her wait for eight weeks, leading her to believe she would get awarded her short-term disability claim, but in the end they denied her request.  Their reason for denial was because she had shortness of breath in October when she was diagnosed with pneumonia.  Therefore, her insurance company decided she may have had a pre-existing condition.  However, Kim said, "It's more than clear in my records I never had congestive heart failure before this."  She is going to appeal their decision.

In the meantime, Kim has to wait.  She has to wait to go back to work and wait to see if her heart is healing when she receives her next scan.

Kim has had to play the medical waiting game in the past.  Six years ago her son, Thomas, won the battle against cancer.  "With God's help I made it through watching my son battle cancer. Somehow, someway, I'll make it through this.  Most days I just don't see how, but I will."

Kim shared, "It's a scary situation that you never expect is going to happen and then, boom, it does."  She said that, as a single mom to Thomas and Lexi, she had a lot of expenses as single moms do, and with the cost of living increasing, it was difficult for her to get ahead to have a "rainy day" fund, so she has to work to accomplish that now.  This week, she is most concerned about having enough money to make her car payment so she will have a vehicle to go to medical appointments and eventually back to work.  "You just don't think of all the things you rely on when life runs smoothly.  And I cannot get a loan because my credit is not great these last months because I haven't been able to pay my bills."

Given My Price County shares information about those in need during difficult times, we reached out to Kim asking if we could help by getting her situation more attention.  She agreed but said, "I'm not just looking for people to give me money."  Therefore, if anyone is wanting to help Kim with living and medical expenses to get her through this difficult time, she has listed some items for sale at this link.  She will be adding more items in the near future.  Otherwise, cash donations can be given on Venmo at @Kim-Kaletka or at her GoFundMe page.

Kim will have more scans and possibly need medical treatments.  She currently is taking a number of medications.  Kim is going through a lot, but she said, "It will make me a stronger person."

If you or a loved one are in need due to a tragic event, such as a fire or medical situation, reach out to My Price County so we can help get your information to the public.

This article can be shared on Facebook at this link.
(This post was last modified: 03-25-2024, 04:26 PM by My Northern Wisconsin.)

Messages In This Topic