Lip Gloss Heroes- Meet Kyle!

Branford, CT

When Kyle's nomination came over, we were immediately intrigued and impressed with a badass medical professional and one working during a global pandemic. But what stood out to us just as much was Kyle's zest and celebration of life. Like us, Kyle's family has dealt with cancer and the results of that diagnosis. Unlike us though, Kyle's family had to deal with loss... but it's what Kyle has done with her life, to celebrate her mom, that has left us truly inspired. It's why we had to choose Kyle as one of our Lip Gloss Heroes 2020.

Here's what was said about Kyle in her nomination: Kyle McClintock have been friends since 2nd grade. She is an Ironwoman and has completed full Ironman races. She strives to live healthy and balanced eating organically but always has room for a really good micro brew! All while working as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Kyle lost her Mom a beautiful human to cancer in 2011. She journeyed through that painful time and came out celebrating her Mom by living a full and healthy life! Welcome to the SaltyGirl Family, Kyle!

 

Kyle, Tell us a little but more about yourself!

 

I am 39 yrs old and the older sister to one younger sister Colleen who is just under ten years younger than me! I was born outside of DC but for the most part we grew up in the beautiful CT town of Hebron in the house our parents built just before Colleen was born! I was (still am) a tomboy and played a ton of sports growing up but soccer was my whole life. I played through my career on Club, Premiere, State, and Olympic Development teams and ultimately played Division 1 soccer in college at Fairfield University here in CT. I was pre med in college and decided toward the end of undergrad that I wanted to go into nurse anesthesia and become a CRNA. I went back to an accelerated nursing program, worked in cardiothoracic surgery for three years then went on to get my Master’s in Biology and Anesthesia and became a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in 2010. I currently work for Yale New Haven Hospital, Midstate Medical Center, and multiple outpatient vascular centers across the state. Today my hubby, Drew, our golden retriever Tuck, and I live in the beautiful shoreline town of Branford in CT. 

 

We notice that you're a badass athlete, including many Ironman events! Tell us how you got into these and how many have you done?

 

My career in soccer and participation in bunches of other sports led me to get into endurance running and I completed my first full marathon in 2014. Shortly thereafter I started cycling and the natural progression led me to triathlon for the first time in 2015... I competed in my first sprint triathlon in CT at one of our local weekly summer series in a town next to where we grew up, Marlborough. I blame my boyfriend at the time (now husband) for the leap, but it’s been the best experience ever to learn the sport of triathlon with him and his guidance and to register, train, and compete in several Ironman distance races together. Since then I’ve done several sprint and Olympic distance races, qualified for Age-Group Nationals, and have completed two Half-Ironmans and two Full Ironman races. My first year of Ironman training I applied for and was chosen to be on an all women’s triathlon team called the BettySquad which I have been on for four years now! I draw so much inspiration and strength from the unbelievable women on our team including the founder and mastermind behind Betty Designs (our team brand), Kristin Mayer. 

 

 

We know that you come from a long line of badass women, including your mother, who you lost to cancer. Are you able to share a little bit more about your mother, her journey and yours?

 

My Mom fought a brutal battle against Mesothelioma in 2010 and lost her battle in March of 2011. She unfairly was exposed to asbestos as a young girl secondary to her father's work, unbeknownst to any of them. My Mom was a tenacious fighter not only in her battle with Meso but for all things she was passionate about. She was a lover of people, beautifully creative, extremely giving, and totally hilarious. She worked for numerous non-profit organizations throughout her career, including CARC (CT AIDS Resource Coalition), the National MS Society, Easter Seals, and Avery Heights Senior Living. She also put herself through Culinary School when I was young and was an incredibly talented chef before, during and after her culinary training. Our Dad and Colleen and I ate VERY well every day! I love cooking to this day as it brings me so close to her every time! She taught so many lessons about working hard, loving hard, living life, being grateful, and eating well, all of which I keep close at heart and always will. She made a huge difference in so many people's lives and that’s what we continue to celebrate about her and her life today!

To others supporting someone going through a battle with illness today, I would say stay present in every moment, every day with the ones you love ... those memories in hindsight are truly priceless.  Stay strong and be there for one another and allow others to be there for you too.

Positivity is very powerful so surround yourself and your loved ones with lots of those good vibes especially on those toughest days! A little goes a long way... and I’m sending you some right now!

 

 You’re an anesthesiology nurse and are treating COVID patients! What's been your experience in treating these patients? We're sure it's been challenging!

 

Covid times are definitely interesting times for not only healthcare but for absolutely everyone! My husband (also a CRNA) and I found ourselves wondering what would happen to our jobs as elective surgeries came to halt and the hospitals went on lockdown. What happened was amazing! Our leads in our group of over 120 CRNAs got to work to make sure that our large workforce could be allocated to help fill the demands of a fully morphing system while making sure that each of us had a place to go to keep working! Our CRNA body was deployed to several different sites fulfilling different roles and areas of expertise including as needed. We staffed virtual ICU intensivist roles, telemedicine call centers, Covid Intubation Team, Covid ICU bedside nursing, and Covid ICU Advanced Practice Practitioner roles. My husband volunteered for and found himself building one of several makeshift ICUs for the skyrocketing number of Covid pts along with our colleagues and other staff. They staffed a new ICU 24/7 watching the struggle that these patients faced. I continued in the ORs doing urgent and emergent surgery and facing Covid patients in that setting too. We feared bringing Covid home and saw no one outside of work for two months for fear of being contaminating or contagious. Drew ended up discharging the very last ICU patient the week their ICU was to close and has returned back to the OR where we see less frequent COVID cases. We come to work extremely cautious every day as our OR case levels have returned to normal and numbers of staff doctors and visitors in the hospitals have risen quickly since! There has been a lot of stress associated and we have seen colleagues and friends get sick. We are so grateful that most have recovered and done well but the threat is ever present as we see the rest of the country spike in cases! If we can impart anything at all it is that COVID is REAL and it hurts and kills people... so please wear masks and be safe! It’s so important for ALL of us bc we are truly all in it together!