Read or watch stories from our patients.
“This doesn’t happen to people like me.” Carmen, aged 50
“I was fit and energetic, always on-the-go. I ate well and exercised. I never thought I would need The Alfred. But unknowingly I contracted a heart condition called idiopathic giant-cell myocarditis, which is caused by a virus. It took hold really quickly and it soon became clear I needed medical help. By the time I was rushed to The Alfred, my heart had swollen to three times its size. I literally had seconds to live. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I thought, ‘This just doesn’t happen to people like me’. The Alfred saved my life.”
“I didn’t need a heart transplant but I was close.” Fraser, aged 27
“I thought I had a bout of tonsillitis, then I started having difficulty breathing. My condition got much worse. I was taken to The Alfred because it was the only place that could save my life. I had several cardiac arrests – my heart just stopped working. Thanks to The Alfred, I didn’t die. I’ve had to adjust my lifestyle and be a lot more cautious about my health. I can’t be as spontaneous as I used to be. But I feel lucky. I’m alive.”
“I went to my kayak race thinking, I don’t feel right for this.” Alan, aged 72
“I’m used to leading a very active life. It’s a good thing I’m retired – work would just get in the way of my pursuits. I’m a keen kayaker and the first I knew of my heart problem was in the run-up to a race. With hindsight, I see something had been up for a few days but I went to it thinking, ‘I really don’t feel right for this’. Luckily I finished the contest. The next day, I was at home and I came over all funny, fell off my chair and hit my head on the piano. I didn’t know it then but my brain had stopped sending signals to my heart. After arriving by ambulance at The Alfred, I was given emergency care and then later I was fitted with a pacemaker. Today, I’m thankful I went to hospital before it was too late. Thanks to The Alfred, I’ve been given an extension to my life.”
When Petra Brosch’s heart stopped beating during a routine run on Elwood beach, it was the beginning of a journey that would see The Alfred’s specialists drawing on the latest in cutting-edge medicine to save her life. The 35-year-old was suffering irreparable heart failure that would see her rely on life support, then an artificial heart and ultimatley organ transplant.