“My wife and daughter had to do CPR on me; I was dead for about half an hour,” Andrew says.
Against all odds, Andrew was brought back to life by paramedics and transported to hospital where he would then spend the next 6 weeks.
Around 1,800 Australians are currently wait listed for an organ transplant, and more than 12,000 Australians are currently on dialysis – many of whom would benefit from a kidney transplant.
In this special episode, podcast host Michael Billings speaks to two men on the organ waiting list: Andrew Conway, who is wait listed for a donor heart, and Paul Greenwood, who is wait listed for a donor kidney.
Diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at the age of 30, Andrew has suffered multiple heart attacks, undergone surgeries for pacemakers, and is now fitted with a device that keeps his heart pumping while he waits for the call that he hopes will change his life.
For Paul Greenwood, life changed 13 years ago after a biopsy found he had scarring on his kidneys. A once fit and healthy man, Paul would cycle 30 kilometres a day. Now on dialysis, Paul rarely has enough energy to walk his dog.
While he is thankful that dialysis is keeping him alive, he also admits to never feeling “one hundred per cent”.
“It feels like you’re running in third gear all the time. You’re in a haze and some days you’re just getting through,” Paul says.
“I hope that even if you put your name down to become a donor, that it never happens for you, but maybe if it did, you could help so many people. Instead of living in a bit of misery you can have a full, happy life.”
Stories of strength and resilience amid adversity are being showcased in the new podcast series produced by radio announcer Michael Billings and our DonateLife Victoria team.