Heart transplant

Pittsburgh fitness instructor who recovered from Covid underwent heart transplant after virus reappeared


Fitness instructor who recovered from Covid undergoes heart transplant after virus lay dormant in his body and attacked his organs six months later

  • Pittsburgh’s Derek Stipetich had only mild symptoms when he caught Covid
  • However, the symptoms persisted and seemed to worsen over the months.
  • He was reassured by doctors that all was well but his health declined
  • Another hospital visit brought news that he was suffering from cardiogenic shock
  • The life-threatening condition where your heart suddenly cannot pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs
  • Stipetich has had a successful heart transplant and is recovering well
  • Doctors say her case appears to be a first as Covid lay dormant in her body for months before attacking her heart










A fitness instructor who recovered from Covid-19 underwent a heart transplant after the virus resurfaced in his body and attacked his organs six months later.

Doctors told Derek Stipetich of Pittsburgh that the virus attacked his heart, leaving them with no choice but to have a transplant. KDKA reported.

A heart specialist told the outlet that Stipetich’s case was a first as the virus appeared to have been dormant in his body for months before attacking his heart.

Before being tested positive for the coronavirus last November, Stipetich engaged in active activities like skiing, but now has difficulty lifting his usual weights.

His symptoms were mild but persisted and seemed to worsen, causing concern to his wife and daughters.

“The weights that I used regularly were totally too heavy for me,” Stipetich told KDKA, adding that his family had urged him to return to the doctor to check his lungs are okay.

Derek Stipetich, a fitness instructor who recovered from Covid-19, underwent a heart transplant after the virus resurfaced in his body and attacked his organs six months later

Stipetich was reassured by doctors in January that everything was fine, but his health declined in April, when he caught a cold that made him feel like “suffocating” when he woke up, he said. he told the newspaper.

Believing he may have caught Covid again, Stipetich returned to the hospital where he was told he was gravely ill and had suffered cardiogenic shock – a potentially fatal condition in which your heart did not. suddenly can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.

“During all of these tests they came back and said there was nothing more they could do for me,” Stipetich said.

More upsetting news followed, when he was told that not only his heart, but also his kidneys and liver were failing.

Stipetich's energy begins to return and he turned to a business he started before his illness, which had now grown into a non-profit organization helping heart transplant recipients.

Stipetich’s energy begins to return and he turned to a business he started before his illness, which had now grown into a non-profit organization helping heart transplant recipients.

“His heart had broken to such an extent that he needed his life to be supported by a mechanical heart pump,” Dr Azam Hadi, a heart failure cardiologist at the Allegheny Health Network who treated Stipetich, told KDKA. .

“We were able to reverse his shock process to the point where he recovered his organs except his heart.”

Stipetich waited eight days for a donor heart and is recovering well, despite mobility difficulties.

His energy began to return and he turned to a business he had started before his illness, which was now transformed into a non-profit organization helping heart transplant recipients.

The adrenaline pumping against all odds will help especially those whose illnesses were associated with Covid-19.


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