Episode 12: Defying Odds with Olivia Rose: Heart Disease Survivor’s Journey

“I have a determination that plays a role.” – Olivia Rose

Bouba chats with Olivia Rose to talk about her heart disease journey. 
After suffering two strokes and heart disease, Olivia Rose, an elite athlete, courageously fights for her life and embarks on an inspiring journey of self-discovery and resilience to defy the odds.

Olivia Rose is a thriving survivor, heart transplant recipient, and former LVAD patient living with heart disease. In addition, she is a natural bodybuilder and former athlete who has inspired others with her resilience and determination.

Olivia Rose was 25 when she was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2014. She had two strokes, an LVAD to help her heart, and was told she only had 15% of her heart functioning. Despite this, she remained positive and found strength in her family, friends, and athletic background. Through her determination and her mother’s unwavering support, Olivia Rose eventually received a heart transplant and is now living with a new heart. She inspires many, overcoming immense challenges and finding joy in the little moments. 

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. How Olivia dealt with the diagnosis of her heart disease at the age of 25, and how did she manage her mental health?

2. How does Olivia’s competitive spirit help her recover?

3. How was it for Olivia’s family when she was diagnosed with heart disease, and what changes did they have to make?

Find out more about Olivia here:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/i.am.oliviarose/

Other episodes you’ll enjoy:

Episode 5 – Life with an LVAD while waiting for a heart transplant

Episode 9 –The Better Half of Heart of a Giant Speaks on LWHD

Episode 10 – Inspiring Journey From Heart Failure to Transplant: A Chat With John Sanson

Connect with me:
Instagram: livingwithheartdisease.podcast
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heartofagiant.foundation

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@heartofagiant

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LWHDpodcast

Did you enjoy this episode? A free way to support our show is by leaving it a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. It’s a chance to tell us what you love about the show, and it helps others discover the show as well.

Apple Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-10-inspiring-journey-from-heart-failure-to/id1567454596?i=1000608329515

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/4aJeFMvnXyazgGuhR8A4Xs?si=6d9f19949f514714&nd=1

Chapter Summaries:


Today is a special day. I’m here today with Olivia Rose. There you go. Olivia Rose. That’s how we know her publicly. It’s a great honor to have you on this podcast, and she was definitely one of my inspirations, mainly because I was connected a long time ago and had been following from a distance.

Like, okay, so I was a bodybuilder, a natural bodybuilder, back when this happened. And I’ve always been an athlete that’s been born. So I’ve been playing volleyball, t ball, basketball, tennis, soccer, track, everything, and flat football even. And so I was at a competition in Pittsburgh, and I started feeling nauseous backstage, and I suddenly started falling to the floor, and I was having a stroke at that time, and I didn’t know.

That was the second stroke. 

Yeah. So then they did a thrown back to me the procedure where they go in your brain and take out the clot. And my right side was affected at that time. So right now, my right hand still shakes. My right side, my right hand still shakes. So my legs were wobbly sometimes, and I had speech problems. But the speech right now is so great compared to before. I can’t even tell you. It was so bad.

They have a heart for me. I said yes. So we got to run back home, either grocery store, run back home, get on my start and drive straight to the hospital.

Yeah, I was so shocked. I was like, what? You have a heart for me. It feels surreal. It does feel surreal. I was also so grateful the whole time. 

I did the same. Was it what, five years? What did you see?

I’m independent. I like being independent, doing things by myself, doing things for myself, and not having anybody come and tell me what to do. So my mom and I bump heads a lot. I like to do my own thing, and she wants to come and bring me back to reality.

Because you are very active, the LVAD allows you to get some of the activity. How important was it? What did it mean to you to be able to do hiking still, and were you social? Were you able to go hiking with other people? 

I was walking around with this bag, LVAD, and a bag in my backpack. I didn’t feel pretty. I lost everything. I was walking around looking like a boy. 

I was a personal trainer before I started doing bodybuilding competitions. So yeah, I was training before. 

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