Young Heart Transplant Recipient Triumphs Over Cancer In Remarkable Battle.

Ashley and Tony DiLeo faced adversity from the moment they learned they were expecting a child. Inspired by WWE champion Roman Reigns, they chose to name their baby Roman, signifying his strength and resilience. However, a routine ultrasound revealed that Roman had the most severe case of dilated cardiomyopathy ever seen by Dr. David Peng at the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Roman’s weak and stretched-out heart necessitated the use of a ventricular assist device and, eventually, a heart transplant.

After months of waiting, an appropriate heart became available, and Roman underwent successful surgery. However, a few months following his discharge, Roman developed post-transplant lymphoma, a common complication due to anti-rejection medication. He underwent a six-course treatment and, fortunately, showed no signs of cancer afterward. Now two years old, Roman is enjoying a normal toddler life, full of curiosity and playfulness. The DiLeos are incredibly grateful for the care they received at Michigan Medicine and hope to support others facing similar challenges.

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