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Peter's story

I was told I needed a second heart transplant

A date forever etched in my mind was Friday the 13th June 1994, whilst it might be seen as unlucky for some; this date would change my life forever!

After suffering with heart blockages, I finally presented to hospital for treatment and found myself whisked off to Sydney,operated on for thirteen hours and told that I was now a candidate for a heart transplant.

As a fit, hard working young man and father of four, this came as a surprise to my family. After waiting for four years in 2000, I got the call that a heart was available and I had my first transplant.

At first things were fantastic I was out of bed the next day, (not quite ready to take on the world), feeling good and then about a week later I had my first rejection and other infections. After about six months recuperation in hospital I was able to return to work while still dealing with bouts of rejection.

Unfortunately, in 2006 I was back in hospital with heart failure. I was told I needed a second heart transplant. After learning to walk, talk and eat again I was released from hospital and within a month of my discharge I was able to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and see my children get married. I now have grandchildren and three weddings to attend.

I am currently the President of the Australian Heart/Lung Transplants Association and I am forever grateful to the two people who have given me the gift of life and I thank the transplant coordinators, doctors and nursing staff for saving my life.

People I will never forget!

Nicky Burton