Heart Transplantation Turns 40!


In 2024 we celebrate our 40th anniversary of the youngest successful heart transplant on 14-year-old Fiona Coote AM by renowned cardiologist Dr Victor Chang AC in 1984.

This milestone operation and the associated launch of our transplantation program were only made possible by philanthropic support, as government funding for transplantations was non-existent at the time. One of the first donations to the new program came from a visiting Indonesian businessman, whose life had also been saved by Dr Chang.

From the beginning generous philanthropy from visionary donors from the beginning has been key to establishing St Vincent’s as one of the world’s leading centres of heart lung innovation and research.

St Vincent’s now undertakes close to 100 heart and lung transplants each year, and the survival and success rates are among the highest in the world.

Making mechanical hearts possible

The generosity of our philanthropic supporters has contributed greatly to St Vincent’s international reputation as a world leader in heart and lung transplantation, and our high standing attracts the best and brightest cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and nurses to our hospitals.  Expertise of this calibre allows us to pursue excellence in patient care by undertaking life-changing technological innovation through widespread clinical trials and extended research capability.

We are currently well on the way to adding another cardiac care breakthrough to our consistent achievement of world and Australian firsts: St Vincent’s, in partnership with BiVACOR and other institutions, is on the cusp of ground-breaking trials for a fully artificial heart which could offer a viable and life-saving option for heart failure patients.

Your continued support remains paramount. Strategic philanthropy underpins the life-changing work of our extraordinary team by enabling facilities development, the latest equipment, world-leading clinical trials, and professional development for our doctors, nurses and allied health workers. Together, we are transforming lives and shaping the future of health care. If you would like to support the Heart Lung Innovation Fund, please contact Susan Williams at susan.williams2@svha.org.au