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Jayden's Story Update: Life two years on from a heart transplant

“I’m living breathing proof of what your donations can achieve.” - Jayden Cummins

We first shared Jayden's story in 2020. It’s now two and half years since he underwent a heart transplant which led to a new outlook on life and, as he describes himself, ‘Jayden 2.0.’ 

Jayden was just 46 years old when the common flu virus attacked his heart, causing it to become so inflamed he was left in end-stage heart failure. 

It was history repeating itself. Twenty years earlier Jayden’s mum died from the very same condition. Now his son Henry was facing the very real possibility of losing his dad too.

But this father and child had a different outcome thanks to research conducted at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. The ‘heart-in-a box’ that was developed alongside a unique preservation solution at the Institute has revolutionised heart transplantation. 

This world-first invention has dramatically extended the amount of time a donor transplant heart can spend in transit, from four to 14 hours, meaning there are now a third more hearts available for people like Jayden. 

After almost dying, the result, he chuckles, is the new and improved “Jayden 2.0.” He’s focusing on being the best dad in the world to son Henry, raising funds for the Institute and being an advocate for organ donation.

It’s a purpose he knows would make his mum proud. “She agreed to every bit of testing and gave her heart to research.”

And it’s the power of research that has inspired Jayden and Henry to undergo genetic testing. “So much has been achieved through research in such a short time, what was not available to my mum is now available to Henry and I.”

“What the Institute is doing for people like me is just incredible and its world leading,” he says. “All of these breakthroughs start with research, the whole world is going to benefit - but we get it first here in Australia.”

And Jayden has something important to say to our incredible supporters: “The Institute’s supporters are as important as the organ donors who provide heart donations to people like me,” he says. “I will never be able to repay what has been given to me.

“Thank you are the two words I have for people like you. I am living breathing proof of what your donations can achieve!"