At 15 years of age Joel was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Just three years later he underwent a heart transplant at St. Vincent’s in Sydney. Now less than six months post transplant, Joel loves being active again, playing touch football with his mates and has recently begun to further pursue his passion of a career in photography.
Rachel was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth, and after seriously deteriorating health in her late teens received a bilateral lung transplant in April 2013. Rachel is in her final year of a double Law and Communications degree and wishes to share her experience and offer support for anyone thinking about, waiting for or having received a transplant. Since her transplant, Rachel has travelled the world, begun riding her horses again.
Double Lung recipient
Professor Peter Macdonald is Conjoint Professor of Medicine in the University of New South Wales, senior staff Cardiologist in the Cardiopulmonary Transplant Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney and co-head of the Transplant Research Laboratory at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. In a world-first in 2014 Prof Macdonald and his team successfully transplanted a heart that had stopped beating for 20 minutes.
Jessica is both a Transplant Coordinator and Nurse Unit Manager - Transplant Clinic, St. Vincents Hospital, Sydney. Coming from a family of nurses, you could say Jess was born for her work. Caring for patients and their wellbeing is second nature to her. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge, covering all aspects of transplantation. Jess’s passion for the transplant clinic and her patients is nothing short of remarkable.
Alex was completely devastated in 2010 when he lost his brother Richie at age 34, after he was tragically killed in a car accident. Alex and his family honoured Richie’s wishes to be an organ donor and Richie went on to save the lives of multiple people on the waiting list. Alex and his family continue to honor Richie’s legacy in many ways, including at the annual Donate Life Memorial in Victoria.
Matt was born with biliary atresia, a rare disease of the liver. From infancy it was evident that a transplant would be necessary. It was at age 19 when Matt received his life saving liver transplant. The transplant positively impacted more than just Matt’s health, and post transplant, with a new outlook, he decided to change careers and become a nurse. Matt is now a full-time nurse in the coronary care and stroke unit at Orange Base Hospital.
Clare was on holiday in Thailand when she started feeling unwell. After a three day admission to ICU in Thailand. Claire was then flown back to perth. Her illness continued to decline and at 31, Clare underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant. After her transplant Clare enrolled into Nursing and is in the final stages of study. He goal is to use her experience to help others navigate their own illness journey.
Kidney Pancreas recipient
Luke’s partner Ailish had a double lung transplant in 2019 at the age of 23. Luke watched Ailish’s condition deteriorate over a number of years which eventually lead to a double lung transplant. Luke played a vital support role and he is passionate about transplant support, especially for other partners and family members.
Claire went in for a routine blood test at 18 only to find out she was in kidney failure and would require a transplant. Fortunately for Claire, both her parents were a match and her father became her kidney donor. Claire has been involved in campaigns for Donate Life and wants to share her experience to help others.
To say Jade is a passionate advocate for Organ Donation is an understatement. At 31, Jade made the selfless decision to donate a kidney. Not to a family member or a friend in need, just purely for the will to support someone in need. Each year in Australia, between 0-1 people donate a kidney in this compassionate way. Jade would love to see that number increase.
Living organ donor
Andrew was 24 when he received his first heart transplant, followed by another heart and then a kidney. 29 years on Andrew originally from the UK now resides in Australia with his family. He is armed with a lifetime of experience and is ever committed to sharing his journey of ups and downs in a bid to help others.
2 x Heart & Kidney recipient
At 31 Katherine contracted viral meningitis and shingles and ended up in hospital. The infection spread to her eye which resulted in the loss of sight in her right eye. She is now a proud Corneal transplant and wants to spread more awareness and support for those facing a Corneal transplant.
Erin tragically lost her son Devan in January 2022 after a long battle with mental health. Devan was 21. Recently Erin received two letters from transplant recipients whose lives were saved by Devan. By sharing Devan’s story, Erin hopes to help other donor families and transplant recipients.
Jackie was born with cystic fibrosis and always knew she would eventually require a transplant. At 29 Jackie underwent a double lung transplant at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth Western Australia. Jackie is all about the outdoors and has taken a nurture by nature style approach to her journey. Jackie has never let her health chanllenges define her and the way she navigates post-transplant life is truly inspiring.
Double Lung recipient
Paul now in his 60’s underwent a heart transplant 22 years ago. Paul is a shining example of someone who has never let his transplant get the better of him and with more energy than those half his age he has no interest in slowing down.
Amanda’s spouse, Rob, contracted Covid-19 in the initial stages of the pandemic, leading to a swift decline in his heart health. Amanda recounts her personal journey as both a wife and caregiver, navigating Rob’s illness while also fulfilling her role as a mother to their two children.
Charlie Brady is a Clinical Nurse Consultant working in Consultation Liaison Psychiatry at St Vincent’s hospital. He works in a team offering support for those patients who are under the care of medical and surgical teams. He has a wealth of experience working in adult mental health overseas but in the last 8 years Charlie has been working closely with the transplant teams looking after the mental wellbeing of patients on their transplant journey.
Consultation Liaison Psychiatry
India was born with a genetic condition that eventually necessitated a heart transplant when she turned 23. The Transplant Network played a vital role in supporting her throughout her journey. She is enthusiastic about sharing her experience to assist those who are about to embark on the same road.
Gabe grew up with the awareness that a kidney transplant would become a part of her life journey. The notion that her husband would step forward as the donor was something she had never envisioned. Now, she is eager to share her personal journey to inspire and assist others facing similar challenges.
The Transplant Network Incorporated is a registered charity with the ACNC. Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.