Episode 186 | Kayleigh’s Story- A Child Life Specialist’s son with Tetralogy of Fallot [part 1]

Want to use Child Life On Call, but not sure how?

Set up a quick 15-minute call with a CLOC team member.

    Episode 186 | Kayleigh’s Story- A Child Life Specialist’s son with Tetralogy of Fallot [part 1]

    Podcast Show Notes

    In the world of pediatric healthcare, she was the light in the darkness, offering comfort and solace to families facing unimaginable challenges. But little did she know, the tables were about to turn, and she would find herself on the receiving end of that very same support. This is the story of Kayleigh Koehler, a child life specialist whose journey into motherhood took an unexpected twist. Brace yourself, for her world was about to be shattered, leaving her grasping for hope and searching for answers. And as the story unfolds, the question remains: How will she navigate this new terrain?


    Kayleigh Koehler is a remarkable and multifaceted individual who navigates through life wearing various hats. As a wife to her high school sweetheart Mitch and a mother to their charming four-year-old son, Hudson, Kayleigh’s world is filled with love and profound resilience. Professionally, she is a dedicated child life specialist working tirelessly in a cardiac ICU. Her firsthand expertise and personal connection to her job started to take a unique and powerful perspective when her unborn son was diagnosed with a heart condition. Kayleigh’s courage, wisdom, and gutsy perseverance inscribed an unforgettable chapter in her life story where her professional and personal world astoundingly intertwined.


    There’s just such this grief of the person you were before your heart was outside of your body, and there’s nothing you would do to change it. I would a million times over, but just that like, wow, I thought I was stressed out before I had a kid, and now my entire world exists outside of me and I have no control. – Kayleigh Koehler


    In this episode, you will be able to:

    • Delve into the empathetic journey of a child life specialist turned medical mom and the untold lessons it brings.
    • Learn the underrated power of trusting gut instincts during pregnancy for improved health decisions.
    • Acknowledge the challenges and rewards of juggling roles as a child life specialist and a parent to a child with a cardiac defect.
    • Dissect the fight for children’s rights in healthcare and the persistence it requires to make a change.
    • Unpack the emotional turmoil in parenting and its impact on one’s personal identity in exigent situations.

    Importance of trusting intuition during pregnancy
    Kayleigh’s experience underscores the significance of trusting one’s intuition during pregnancy. Despite the normalcy projected by others, she intuitively sensed her child’s heart condition, mirroring the apprehensions many expecting mothers may grapple with. The power of intuition and the courage to trust it are highlighted in her journey, calling upon the need to consider a mother’s intuition as an essential piece in the overall holistic approach to maternal health.

    The resources mentioned in this episode are:

    • Listen to the full episode: This is the main call to action for the audience to engage with the podcast episode. Encourage them to listen to the entire episode to hear Kayleigh’s story and insights.
    • Watch the episode on YouTube: Mention that the episode is available to watch on YouTube and encourage the audience to watch it if they prefer visual content.
    • Check out Kayleigh’s blog, When Worlds Collide: Provide the name of Kayleigh’s blog and encourage the audience to visit it to read more about her experiences as a child life specialist and parent.
    • Stay tuned for part two of the episode: Let the audience know that the episode will be split into two parts and that they should come back next week to listen to the second part.
    • Reflect on the importance of gut intuition: Highlight the theme of gut intuition in Kayleigh’s story and encourage the audience to reflect on their own experiences and the power of trusting their instincts.
    • Become a confident advocate and partner with the care team: Emphasize the mission of the podcast to empower parents to be confident advocates and partners with the care team during healthcare experiences. Encourage the audience to take on this role and seek out resources and support.


    You Might Also Like…

    Comfort positions

    Download the Comfort Positioning Guide



    Being close to a trusted adult is powerful. It lessens pain and brings comfort when kids need it most. This guide shows you how to keep kids safe, and help them feel supported, during medical procedures. From the Meg Foundation for Pain and Child Life On Call.

    Your download is heading to your inbox now!

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This