A double lung transplant saved my life

"When you get the call"

Three years ago, Adam Wells’ life changed dramatically when he finally received the life altering call that a perfect set of lungs had become available.

“It set off a cascade of emotions. You get a call because someone has died, and I can’t describe it … it was kind of hideous. But I knew that it was my last chance. Someone had made the choice for me.”

Adam had struggled to breathe for 14 years due to the medical condition sarcoidosis.

“Every breath was like breathing through a straw while walking up a hill.” And on the day he was discharged from St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney he took one enormous breath and made a promise to himself; this was his second chance at life and he was going to make it amazing!

And amazing it has been, reflected in his work, and evident in the renewed vigour of his connection with his daughters, and most evident in his energy for conversation and good food, and just living.

Adam always wanted to live. He is a survivor, a fighter and possibly the biggest talker going around town, which is why just three years after the surgery that changed him forever Adam was asked to be a Heart/Lung Ambassador and represent the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation.

He is passionate about educating people on the importance of organ and tissue donation and the need to register your decision with the Australian Organ Donor Register. This is partly fuelled by a feeling of indebtedness to the donor and the donor’s family, and partly a debt he owes to fellow organ transplant recipients now and in the future.

“I had a burning desire to highlight that we don’t have the organ donor notice on our driver’s licences anymore. I want people to talk about it, to know about it” he says.

Always grateful to the exceptional team at St Vincent’s that saved his life, and of course the remarkable donor family that allowed him to breathe life into his new lungs, Adam now intends to turn his attention to something bigger … bigger than he has ever done before.

And so, with the importance of organ donation and raising funds for the St Vincent’s Heart Lung program on his mind, watch this space for the next big Adam Wells chapter.