The Alfred Heart and Lung Transplant team see the daily battles and the extraordinary journeys all our transplant patients face. Professor Andrew Taylor and Janelle McLean from this team, are by these patient’s side from their very first admission to their final follow up appointment.
The team do 25-30 heart transplants per year. While the average time on the waiting list is around four months some patients may be transplanted within a week of being listed, while others may wait up to three years. Our specialist medical, nursing and allied health staff support these patients throughout their wait.
Janelle is a specialist in mechanical circulatory support and helps patients learn how to live with ventricular assist devices which is a device that bridges them to a heart transplant.
When that wait is over and a recipient and donor match is found, Janelle gets to make the unforgettable phone call to her patients, to tell them they have found a compatible heart from an organ donor.
“The elation you hear in their voices - they’ve just been given a second lease on life,” Janelle said.
The team said after a patient receives a transplant, they often spend weeks or months in the hospital as inpatient or coming in for rehab in the transplant gym. All transplant patients are seen in the clinic for ongoing care - a clinic Professor Taylor works in.
Professor Taylor has worked in the transplant team for seventeen years, he has cared for patients who have received heart transplants while still in school and has been able to witness them grow up and start their own families thanks to the life-changing procedure.
“None of this would be possible without the act of kindness from donors. The generosity of the donor’s loved ones to make that decision and show kindness at the time of terrible tragedy, is something we are all incredibly grateful for,’ said Professor Taylor.
To register as an organ donor visit: https://donatelife.gov.au/registering-be-donor