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Shaun's story

My motto is stay positive, and never, never, never give up.

Hi, my name is Shaun and I am 17. I like hanging out with my friends, the Bombers (Essendon Football Club) and girls - all pretty normal teenage stuff really. But my life hasn't always been that normal.

Here is my story.

I have had two heart transplants. Yes, two. When I was born I had a problem with my heart. By the time I was eight I couldn't run, I was tired all the time and I wasn't growing. The doctors said I needed a new heart. I didn't really understand why, but I cried with happiness when the doctor told me I would be able to play footy like the other kids.

One night about 11pm the hospital rang and said they had a new heart for me. I had an operation that lasted 14 hours and then I was given a new life at eight. I played my first footy game and I went swimming. I loved playing with the other kids and keeping up!

Nearly five years later, when I was 13, the doctors found another problem with my heart. My heart was not working again. But a second miracle occurred and I was lucky enough to have a second heart transplant. How can one person be so lucky?

That was four years ago now, and I am doing really, really, really well. When I finish school I want to be a nurse so I can help sick kids like I was - because I know what a big difference the nurses make.

I was chosen to be an ambassador for 'Heart Kids' - a support group specifically for kids with heart problems. As an ambassador I talk about my life and help them to stay positive.

I want the families that helped me to know that I am living life to the fullest for them and for me. My motto is stay positive, and never, never, never give up. You never know what tomorrow will bring.


Nicky Burton