Kellan's Heart Journey

Kellan Poynor was born on November 3, 2014 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare congenital heart defect that affects about 1 in 4,300 babies born in the United States. The whole left side of his heart is fatally underdeveloped and it is not able to pump blood out to his body. Kellan, essentially, has only half a heart.  

Kellan underwent open-heart, reconstructive surgery when he was less than 48 hours old. This surgery allows the right side of his heart to replace the functions of the defective left side. The procedure that he endured and survived is known as a “Norwood”, and is only the first of a total of 3 major, open-heart surgeries he must endure before his 3rd birthday. In addition, one of his vocal cords was paralyzed (due to nerve trauma) during his first surgery. This not only jeopardizes his chances of ever being able to speak normally, but this condition could also allow him to aspirate which could then lead to asphyxiation. 

Kellan is only 4 months old and has already been through more than any child should ever have to go through. His older brother Connor (age 5), and parents have been spiritually and emotionally challenged, but as you might imagine, it has affected his family financially as well. His mom, Joy, had to resign from her full-time job as a Children’s Librarian to care for Kellan on a full-time basis. On top of the all the medical expenses associated with his medical condition, losing half of the family’s annual income at this crossroad is crushing. 

Keeping Kellan healthy and strong in between surgeries is his family's number one job.  Even contracting a simple cold could be life threatening. One such event has happened already, and resulted in an almost 4 hour ambulance ride (one way!) to the Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. Creating a germ free environment is paramount, and that is why removing all carpet from the house, and upgrading the HVAC system to filter micro particles is a must - and thus an additional expense. 

Kellan is a strong warrior and has overcome every obstacle set before him thus far, and he is continually surprising his doctors with his progress. Let’s help him and his family financially so they can focus giving him all the love he needs and deserves, without having to worry about the monetary burdens surrounding his life.

*Kellan's family would like to thank Brad Herbert for donating his time and abilities to make the video for this page.  We are extremely thankful for the time and effort he put into helping us tell Kellan's story.


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Joy Smith Poynor 
Alma, AR
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