“I chose the field of cardiac surgery because it is one of the few surgical fields were we get to improve the quality of life of patients along with the quantity of life. There are very few things more gratifying than seeing a patient come in in a wheelchair and leave the hospital walking. It is a challenging, humbling, and constantly evolving field. The fulfillment that comes from being able to call this my life’s work complements so well with the personal life. I have been fortunate enough to have a husband who is not only supportive but pushes me to be the best I can be in all aspects of my life so that the two portions of my life can be in harmony.”
Dr. Helder was born in Hyderabad, India and moved to Salida, Colorado at the age of 7. She moved through multiple states in the country including Nebraska, Mississippi, California, Florida, and Iowa growing up because of her father’s job. She went to medical school at St. Louis University and joined the 4+3 program at Mayo, and she plans to graduate in 2019 after taking 2 years to do translational research involving decellularizing porcine valves with the hopes of recellularizing with autologous cells to make a durable, compatible valve prosthetic. Her plan at the time of this feature is to join North Central Heart Institute in Sioux Falls, South Dakota after graduation, where she will focus on aortic endovascular work, TAVR, and open adult cardiac surgery along with community-focused research. She states that she feels lucky to be married to Tyson Helder, who is a real-estate attorney, and to have just had a beautiful girl, Elia Ram Helder who is now 1 month old as of May 2019.
Dr. Helder was nominated by Elizabeth Stephens, because she “is a successful 4+3 resident pursuing career in adult cardiac and TAVR.