Joel holding a thank you sign

Joel wants tosay 'Thanks'

At 14, Joel Seeto felt like any other fit, healthy teenage boy. When he wasn’t at school he was playing football, surfing or socialising.

He never thought that at just 18 years old he’d find himself on the waiting list for a heart transplant, barely able to walk, let alone run, and exhausted even while resting.

Joel was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – a genetic heart condition that causes thickening of the heart walls, making it increasingly difficult for the heart to pump blood.

His condition deteriorated, and – to his great shock - he was officially added to the heart transplant list.

“Back when I first got diagnosed, I couldn’t go a day without thinking about it,” says Joel.

For people like Joel, a heart transplant is the only treatment.

The greatest impediment to transplants is the availability of donor hearts.

But the ‘heart in a box’ machine helps with that. It is used with a unique solution, developed by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, that protects the heart and allows it to be reactivated even if it stops.

Before this world first discovery donor hearts had to be transplanted within 4 hours, which severely limited who could receive a transplant. See it in action below.

With this breakthrough, that period was extended to 14 hours resulting in an increase in heart transplants of up to 30%.

That’s the kind of difference that heart research makes.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years