Tony
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Tony's story

By Tony

One night I found myself sitting up in bed unable to breathe. I went to work the next day feeling unwell and arranged with my boss to leave at lunch to go and see the doctor. The doctor recognised that something was seriously wrong and at the hospital I was shocked to be told I had cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart).

I spent eight days in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the Northern Territory (NT) before being transferred to Adelaide for further tests and treatment. After having an angiogram in Adelaide I was transferred to Melbourne where I had my first pacemaker inserted. It lasted for about four years and then I needed another pacemaker. The second one lasted approximately 12 months and then I became increasingly unwell. I was in and out of hospital for several months. Eventually I travelled from NT to Melbourne accompanied by a cardiologist. I was in the Cardiac Ward there for about six weeks and by this time I felt terrible. It was a struggle for me to walk around.

Suddenly a very precious gift, a donated heart became available. I was told the heart was a good match (97%) for me. I was taken to theatre and I woke up in ICU about 10 hours later. I have been well ever since. My recovery has been a miracle. I continue to have a cardiologist review every six months. This year marks the seven year anniversary of my life changing transplant.

The experience has completely changed my life in many ways. I am a more spiritual person now. I am far more caring towards others and I feel that God has led me into a ministry of visiting the sick in hospital.  I am very happy with how my life has turned out and I wish to thank the Lord and the many people including medical and hospital staff who have helped me. I am also extremely grateful to my donor and the donor’s family.