Overcoming Obstacles in Life

A Manatee County woman met her future husband while waiting for a heart transplant. Angela Horan was 36 years old and had three children. She had congestive heart failure and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.

She said her heart was pumping at 8%.

“They said that I probably had a virus that you get all the time, but for some reason this time that I got it, my body attacked my heart instead of the virus,” said Angela Horan.

In 2014, Horan said doctors advised her that her health was rapidly declining.

She was placed on the list to receive a heart transplant.

Horan had previously signed up for a dating website. She had no plans on dating and said she only wanted to meet new friends because she was new to Florida. Gary Bergstrom had sent her several messages before Horan agreed to meet him for dinner.

“I didn’t know it at the time. She failed to mention at the time that she was dying and that she was on the heart transplant list,” said Gary Bergstrom.
The two decided to date despite the obstacles ahead.

“I had never been in a situation where I was dating someone that was literally going to die if they didn’t get a transplant,” he said.

The couple got together in 2015. Later that year, Bergstrom was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and was thrown off his bike. He had eight broken bones and tissue damage.

“We both had our own issues going on and people were like look at these two and we’re still out playing pool and making memories,” said Bergstrom.

By late 2015, Horan’s health was declining. She received a call around 1:30 a.m. and was informed there was a donor heart. She was rushed to Tampa General Hospital.

Fortunately, she made it and now the couple has dated for the past six years and plan to get married in March.

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