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Colin – heart recipient, QLD

A photo of Colin
I will never forget the moment I received the news I was to receive a new heart

A once healthy, fit tradie, Colin’s world turned upside down when he ended up on the heart transplant waitlist.

It all began back in 1997 when Colin collapsed on a construction work site twice in one day. He was eventually diagnosed with left ventricular cardiomyopathy, but a successful medication plan kept him stable and life continued on.

Five years later a decline started, first Colin was fitted with an ICD (internal defibrillator), in 2010 he had his first cardiac arrest and then the panic attacks started. After multiple cardiac arrests, regimes of new medication and a very close call with death, Colin found himself on the heart transplant waitlist.

“It got to the point where I had to watch people doing the simplest of tasks for me and I struggled to walk 30 metres without a break, stairs were a terrifying plight!” Colin said.

“I went from a healthy, strong tradie to a shadow of the man I was.”

In April 2016, while in hospital following surgery for a Ventricular Assist Devise (an implanted pump) Colin was told he wouldn’t be leaving hospital after all... a donor heart had been found for him.

“I will never forget the moment I received the news I was to receive a new heart,” Colin said. “The night before I was to leave hospital, I had my guardian angel (my heart transplant coordinator) come and tell me I was getting a new heart!

"After a hug and a cry, I got prepared to meet Kong, my affectionate name for my donor heart.”

Colin and his wife Cheryl now love to caravan all around the countryside spreading the organ donation message at every caravan stop. He said he is incredibly grateful to his donor and their family.

“To me, they are everything. Without the selfless gesture of my donor I would not have been here for the marriages of our two sons and to welcome our beautiful granddaughter into this world, I’m forever grateful.”

Kathy Heagney
Graphic of native plants

Join us online Saturday, 5 June 3pm for the DonateLife National Service of Remembrance