Seven-year-old to undergo open heart surgery


UNION CITY, Ind. — Kaytei Auske, 7-year-old daughter of Bobby and Jessi Auske of Union City, Ind., is set for open heart surgery June 6 at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent’s, in Indianapolis .

She is understandably nervous about the procedure, but maintains her sense of humor and entertaining her family.

Kaytei, who just had a birthday on April 22, was born with a small hole in her heart and was diagnosed with a heart murmur. The family kept watch on that issue, and after a while, was told by medical personnel that everything was all right.

Then April 13, this year, the child was having chest pains, so they headed to the hospital, where they X-rayed her heart, performed two EKGs and discovered her heart was enlarged.

“They sent us to Peyton Manning to do all kinds of tests,” Jessi said. “They will now go in and patch the hole and that should make everything okay.”

Kaytei just finished first grade at Randolph Eastern. She said she likes school, and recently received awards in music and a program involving new math.

This past week, the school held an event in her honor, with a different theme every day.

The family agrees that Kaytei is the boss and the princess of the family. She loves wearing bows in her hair and playing with her Barbie dolls. She also enjoys coloring and drawing and playing her guitar and singing. She loves music, with her favorite song being “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

She hasn’t been able to do much with physical activities, such as gym, with her heart condition. After she comes home from the hospital, there will be four weeks of recovery.

Kaytei is the youngest of four children. She has a sister, Kearstin, 14, and brothers, Nikolai, 12, and Domanick, 9.

The Auskes said they spelled their children’s names as such because they wanted to be different.

The couple met 11 years ago at the Triangle in Greenville.

“I had known most of her family through other family and friends but never met here before until then,” Bobby said. “We have been married eight years.”

Jessi is a home daycare provider and her husband is a painter of locomotives at Progress Rail in Muncie.

What does Kaytei want to be when she grows up?

“I want to be a builder,” replied Kaytei, whose maternal grandparents are Tim and Karen Nichols of Hollansburg and Molly Samuel of Union City and paternal grandparents are Tony and Shelly Auske of Bellefontaine.

Kaytei Auske enjoys playing the guitar and singing to her family and friends. She will be undergoing open heart surgery on June 6. Auske enjoys playing the guitar and singing to her family and friends. She will be undergoing open heart surgery on June 6. Linda Moody |

By Linda Moody

Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at [email protected] or at (937)569-4315 ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at

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