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Interesting, Inspiring and Intriguing Links from Around the Globe


I'm living proof that organ donors save lives, says lung transplant recipient Rebecca Sterjovski

Out of tragedy rises hope, as Rebecca Sterjovski and more than 1100 other Australians each year can attest. Ms Sterjovski, 21, is one of a growing number of Aussies whose lives are being saved thanks to organ donors like coward-punch victim Daniel Christie. Mr Christie's family agreed for his organs to be donated after their decision to turn off his life support last weekend. The Australian Organ and Tissue Authority said yesterday national donor numbers had increased by more than 50 per cent from 2009 to the end of November last year, while the number of recipients had grown by more than a third. Read more →

Coen plans to do jet ski run in fraction of previous time

MARYBOROUGH'S double lung transplant recipient Coen Ashton aims to jet ski the Murray River in seven days, instead of seven weeks, this time. More than a year after the life-saving operation, Maryborough's Coen Ashton will spend DonateLife Week racing down the Murray River on a jet ski, to raise awareness of organ donation. His trip will be the reverse of a seven-week expedition, dubbed Murray CODD (Coen's Organ Donor Drive), done before his transplant in 2012. This time, the teen aims to do it in just seven days, to show the difference an organ transplant can make. Read more →

Tarneit's Derek Claridge will cycle 1100km across the state in the Tour de Transplant

TWENTY-FOUR years after Derek Claridge was first diagnosed with heart disease, he finally got his second chance at life. Now, the Tarneit heart-transplant recipient will ride 1100km across the state in the Tour de Transplant to help others in need of a transplant. Mr Claridge, 68, was diagnosed with heart disease when he was 29 years old - a disease his mother had died from at the age of 46. He had his first bypass operation in 1980 before another one six years later. Mr Claridge said he started riding the bike to the gym in about 1995, so he would be fit enough for a heart transplant, which he received in 2000. "I was back in hospital and told I had a couple weeks to live and a heart came," Mr Claridge said. The Tour de Transplant, a nine-day cycling challenge from March 22-30, will raise money for Heart and Lung Transplant Trust Victoria's Second Chance Accommodation Program. Read more →


The art of the heart transplant

Few organs are as charged with meaning as the human heart — and yet the heart is replaceable. Since the first transplant in 1967, the technical aspects have been streamlined, and transplantation is now the standard treatment for end-stage heart failure. Today, heart transplant recipients live long, healthy lives. But until recently, little inquiry had been made into the emotional or psychological states of the patients after the surgery. A new research collaboration between Concordia researcher Ingrid Bachmann and a Toronto-based medical research group is helping to change that. The evolving multi-sensory project Hybrid Bodies: An Artistic Investigation into the Experience of Heart Transplantation provides a creative context in which to explore the experiences of organ recipients and their cultural views on transplantation. It links them to ideas of embodiment, identity and kinship. Read more →


TRANSNOWORLD 2014: the Winter World Transplant Games

Link to News Stories
Link to Transplant Stories


Ireland takes over adult lung transplant services from North-East hospital

AFTER 15 years of providing a lung and heart-lung transplant services for the Republic of Ireland, the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle is handing over to the new Irish National Lung Transplant Programme. Over those years the Freeman has given the chance of life-saving transplant surgery to more than 100 Irish patients, as well as providing a service to the North of England and Scotland for the last 29 years. The Freeman transplant team have worked in partnership with the Mater hospital, in Dublin, and now the Irish programme is ready to take over the full adult service. Read more →


Team GB and NI Transplant athletes celebrate at World Winter Transplant Games

A team of inspiring transplant athletes from Great Britain have returned victorious from La Chapelle D'Abondance, France, having represented their country at the World Winter Transplant Games. The 13 strong team, who have all had organ transplants, competed in a variety of sports against 19 teams from around the world. The events included cross-country skiing, Slalom, Parallel slalom, Giant, Super Giant, Biathlon, Snowboard, Snow Shoes, Snow Shoes Orienteering, Curling, and Schuss. The Nicholas Cup, which took place at the Games, is one competition which is reserved for transplant children who have never skied, aged from 8 to 17 years. For the first time, a GB child won the Nicholas Cup - 9 year old heart transplant child, Rachel Hooley, from the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle! Read more →

Scots woman becomes sporting champion just two years after heart transplant

WHEN super-fit Sue Swinson was diagnosed with advanced heart failure, she barely had enough energy to make a cup of tea. A transplant was her only hope and the experienced hillwalker found herself on an emergency waiting list. But just two years after her life was saved by a donor heart, Sue has become a sporting champion with a clutch of medals to her name. Competing for Team GB last week at the World Winter Transplant Games in La Chapelle, France, she took three silvers and a bronze for skiing and a gold as skip of the top curling squad. Sue, 61, from Bearsden, near Glasgow, said: "I'm absolutely elated. It was an amazing experience. I never even imagined I would get back on my skis. One of the races was so exhausting that I had to be carried off at the end but I won the silver medal. Taking part in the games is one of the best things I've ever done. I definitely feel that I've been given a second chance in life." Read more →


From the heart: Watercolors prove therapeutic for psychiatrist awaiting heart transplant ... and those around him

Steve Turchan dealt with his brush with death by picking up a brush. Some of the Neenah psychiatrist's favorite watercolor paintings were created over the more than five months he spent waiting for a heart in the cardiac intensive care unit at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. While staff, patients and their families served as the muses for Turchan's artwork, it was his wife, Katherine, and three children, Ian, 17, Lindsay, 20, and Rebecca, 22, who inspired the decision to have a transplant. Turchan, 52, who calls himself lucky, received a new heart on Thanksgiving Day. Read more →

McCracken lung transplant recipient, Cory Hennessy shares his story

In the lead up to DonateLife Week, Cory Hennessy of McCracken shared his story about the lung transplant he recently underwent and the importance of organ and tissue donation. Cory, 27, said his life has completely changed since the lung transplant operation in late November 2012. Cory was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when he was three-months-old. Prior to the transplant the symptoms of CF he experienced were shortness of breath, lack of energy and coughing fits. Before the transplant his lung capacity was between 25-26 per cent. It is now over 100 per cent. Cory said as those with CF get older their lung capacity slowly deteriorates, but just before the operation his had plateaued. When he was his in early 20s Cory's capacity was at its lowest, around 22 per cent. He said coughing fits were the worst after waking up in the morning when mucus had settled on his lungs. But since the transplant these symptoms are non-existent. Read more →

BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Boston Marathon runners inspired by Plymouth girl born with half a heart

Like most children born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Isabelle Davis looked perfectly fine on the outside. Years ago, that's just what doctors and parents assumed. Mom and dad brought home their beautiful bundle of joy only to discover, days later, that the baby was dying. A duct in a newborn's body that closes several days after birth was the culprit. Thirty years ago, there were no procedures or surgery that could save a child like Isabelle; they simply died.Today, ultrasounds can detect congenital heart diseases, giving doctors and parents time to prepare for what's needed when the baby arrives. In Isabelle's case, it was open-heart surgery when she was just 5 days old. Read more →

Heart transplant drugs may have made Falls man a child molester, attorney says

Five years ago, Lewis E. Huff Jr., of Niagara Falls, underwent a heart transplant. Thursday, Huff, who had never been in trouble with the law before, pleaded guilty to five felonies for molesting five children in 2012 and 2013. His lawyer, prominent Niagara Falls defense attorney James J. Faso Jr., said he thinks there's a connection. Faso said it's possible the anti-rejection drugs Huff had to take after the transplant might have changed his personality. "I've spoken to a couple of doctors and a pharmacist, and they say this is a viable option," Faso said in an interview. "I'm going to explore that. Here's a guy with no criminal history, and now this." Read more →

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