Geoff’s Story

Geoff’s Story

On any given day there are 100 people waiting for a heart transplant in Australia; Geoff is one of the lucky ones.

Dr Warren Pavey, Cardiac Anaesthetist and Chair Heart and Lung Research Institute of WA and Geoff Fisher.

Put your hand on your heart. Feel it throb – thanklessly, diligently – for a whole minute. Imagine if every beat represented someone whose very life depended on a new heart? And just imagine if they could all get the gift they so long for?

In 2009, Geoff Fisher was racking up his regular laps at his local swimming pool when he suffered a catastrophic heart attack that almost killed him. Through an extraordinary stroke of luck his friend, head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Fiona Stanley Hospital Dr Rob Larbalesteir, was in the pool with him. Rob kept his mate alive until they made it to hospital, where Geoff was fitted with a life-saving pacemaker.

Pictured above: Dr Warren Pavey and Mr Rob Larbalestier alongside some of the HLRI team at Fiona Stanley Hospital

But in 2017 it became clear the device wasn’t enough to keep Geoff’s ailing heart functioning. Happily for Geoff, he met the strict requirements set by the heart transplant team and he was added to the register, settling in for the anxious, and potentially long wait. Then in early 2018, Geoff received the incredible gift of a new heart and today, just one year later, he is back swimming laps in the pool with Rob.

If we can keep the heart stronger for longer we can save more lives. We are using novel techniques to improve the health of a donated heart, while outside the body. This work will allow us to offer healthy hearts to more critically ill patients who need them.

Dr Warren Pavey, Cardiac Aneasthetist, colleague of Dr Rob Larbalesteir and Chair Heart and Lung Research Institute.

Spinnaker supports the work of Dr Warren Pavey and the team at the Heart and Lung Research Institute at Fiona Stanley Hospital. These committed individuals are working to better understand the viability of healthy hearts for transplant and improve the incidence of heart transplants in WA. With a commitment to better outcomes for all patients with a critical heart and lung condition, the institute is dedicated to the highest standard of endeavour to inform the highest standards of care. With your help, we can support them in finding the next great discovery and save more lives.