SOURCE: Advocate Health Care

July 12, 2013 11:33 ET

Bon Jovi Fan 'Livin' On A Prayer' -- With a New Heart

For Transplant Patient, Soldier Field Concert a No-Go; She's Just Left Humming Her Favorite Bon Jovi Tunes

OAK LAWN, IL--(Marketwired - July 12, 2013) -  Heather nearly died three times, but still would not give up.

Heather Rohyl, 41, of Chicago, has had many reasons to pray the past five months. Yet, after overcoming multiple infections, a stroke and finally a July 5 heart transplant at Advocate Christ Medical Center, this die-hard Bon Jovi fan still is only 'halfway there,' even though she says she has high hopes of being discharged this Friday, July 12.

Why? She's been holding tickets for the July 12 Bon Jovi concert at Soldier Field for months.

In February 2013, Rohyl came to Christ Medical Center in cardiogenic shock. She required treatment for viral cardiomyopathy, an infected heart muscle that was restricting blood flow in her body. Her cardiology team also discovered that Rohyl has a rare blood-clotting condition, which presented a myriad of other obstacles for her to overcome.

"She had everything," says Gregory Macaluso, M.D., cardiologist on the heart transplant team at Christ Medical Center. Her clotting condition eventually led to a stroke, which resulted in kidney failure. She also developed a respiratory infection. "She definitely required an unconventional treatment plan, but Heather would not give up," he said.

Eventually, Rohyl received a temporary heart pump, which put her back on the road to recovery. Her aggressive rehabilitation sessions spanned a period of more than three months. Doctors were amazed. Rohyl overcame what seemed the impossible and made a "dramatic recovery." She finally became a candidate for a heart transplant.

Today, Rohyl only has one thing on her mind, "Can I be released by Friday?"

"I understand that receiving a new heart is good reason to miss the concert this year, but I'm upset about it. I've attended all of his past concerts in Chicago and I'm already making plans on going next year," said Heather Rohyl.

About Advocate Christ Medical Center
Advocate Christ Medical Center is part of Advocate Health Care, which is one of the nation's leading health care networks. A not-for-profit, 694-bed, premier teaching institution with more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, Christ Medical Center is a leader in health care and one of the major referral hospitals in the Midwest in a number of specialties, including cardiovascular services, heart and kidney transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics and women's health. The hospital also has one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in Illinois providing emergency care for more than 90,000 patient visits annually and is a leader in breakthrough technologies, including eICU® (electronic intensive care unit) monitoring, robotic da Vinci Surgery System® and CyberKnife® Radiosurgery. In both 2012 and 2013, the medical center was named to the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals®, while U.S. News & World Report ranked the medical center among the nation's leading providers for cardiology and heart surgery and for geriatric medicine and ranked it fourth overall among hospitals in the state of Illinois. The hospital is also recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Magnet Center. Magnet status represents the highest honor in the nursing profession. To obtain more information or to visit our newsroom, log on to: www.advocatehealth.com/christ.

Contact Information