ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — A woman from Orchard Park is sharing her story in hopes of saving more lives across Western New York. Angela Colosi had a heart transplant last year.
"I'm starting to feel like myself again. I'm a miracle," Colosi said.
Colosi calls October 28 her second birthday. That's when she received her new heart at Pittsburgh's UPMC. It also happened to be the day of the synagogue shooting.
"I knew that I was in the hospital with victims of the shooting, so they were there fighting their way back, just like I was," she says.
But Colosi might not have made it to the hospital that day, or even onto the heart transplant list, if two key things hadn't happened. The first happened on a dream vacation to Hawaii in 2013 while she was snorkeling.
"Somebody banged into me, and my leg hit coral, and I lifted my head up to see what the damage was to my leg and realized I couldn't catch my breath. So to me, that was my first miracle, because if I had not lifted my head up, I probably would have eventually passed out and died under the water," Colosi said.
A month later, she went in for her physical, mentioned getting hurt, and her doctor sent her straight to the cardiologist.
"They immediately did an EKG and discovered that it did not match the EKG that they had taken three years prior," she says.
Colosi had valve surgery and encourages women going through menopause to have EKGs since many menopause symptoms can be the same as when you have heart trouble.
"Asked every person I met to pray for me because I believe in the power of prayer and that God can do anything," she explained.
After more heart surgeries, Colosi says her second miracle happened. She was at the GOSPA Village Gala for St. Luke's Mission of Mercy when the founder of St. Luke’s, Amy Betros, asked everyone to stand up and pray.
"And she prayed for a total healing. And at the time I was thinking to myself, it's a failure, I'm not getting a total healing right now, but OK," Colosi said. "Exactly 24 hours later, the phone rang, and it was Pittsburgh calling with the heart. All I could think of was wow, wow, miracles do happen, and boy, they happen fast sometimes."
Colosi’s heart transplant surgeon at UPMC says she's had no major issues in terms of her recovery.
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