Have a little heart – register as an organ and tissue donor today

Six women stand together in front of  a wall
Clare Fazackerley (third from left) and her colleagues support heart transplant recipients from the beginning of their transplantation journey and for the rest of their lives
July 27, 2022

This DonateLife Week (24 to 31 July 2022) Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Nurse Practitioner Clare Fazackerley pulled the curtain back on her role in supporting heart transplant recipients in Western Australia.

With more than 25 years in her role, Clare and her team are responsible for supporting a potential organ recipient while being assessed for suitability for transplantation, preparing them for their new heart and providing ongoing support after transplant.

Simply put, Clare alongside her team of nurses, support all heart transplant recipients in Western Australia from the beginning of their transplantation journey to the very end.

“My team and I are the primary contact for all Western Australians who have received, or are preparing for heart transplantation surgery, to ensure the process is as holistic as possible for each individual,” Clare said.

“We educate recipients about the procedure, medications and any lifestyle changes they need to make, we also provide psychological support and coordinate their follow up care.”

Clare and her team still oversee every living heart transplant recipient in the State since the first one in 1995 – who is still alive and well 27 years later.

“We are currently care for 150 heart transplant recipients, each recipient has their own plan of care, but all come in a minimum of twice a year for clinical review,” Clare explained.

“Heart transplantation is a treatment not a cure, recipients require daily immunosuppressive medications and continued follow up for the rest of their lives. Our aim is to ensure delivery ofsafe, effective and timely health care services to every patient”

“While having a new heart takes a lot of work and commitment to stay healthy, recipients can go on to live fulfilling lives, including returning to the workforce, having an active family life and often become active members of their communities by advocating for transplantation and encouraging others to become organ donors.”

Clare encourages everyone to consider registering to become a potential organ donor this DonateLife Week.

“You can’t use your organs after you die, so please think about giving the most remarkable gift you can offer – a second chance at life for someone else,” Clare said.

“It never ceases to amaze me, watching the transformation from a person who was so recently close to death, unable to walk more than a few metres, to one who just a few weeks after having a transplant has regained their physical independence and enjoying life again.”

Visit DonateLife (external site) today and register as an organ and tissue donor to give the gift of a second chance.

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