New Los Altos resident with cystic fibrosis awaits organ transplants
Story by Diego Abeloos, Los Altos Town Crier
Los Altos resident Sharlie Kaltenbach chuckles whenever she recalls the puzzled look on a nurse’s face as she tried to listen for her heartbeat with a stethoscope.
There was none.
Kaltenbach calmly lifted her right arm.
“I told her, ‘Try here,’” said the smiling Los Altos resident, eyeing her armpit.
Sure enough, there was her heartbeat, thumping away in her armpit, leaving the nurse increasingly bewildered.
The episode isn’t all that uncommon for Kaltenbach, 32. Her right lung collapsed 15 years ago, shifting her internal organs, including her heart.
That’s just one of the many effects cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of more than 30,000 people in the United States, has had on her body.