Michael Fattal

If I didn’t get fixed I would have died

Born with life-shortening cystic fibrosis, Michael Fattal had suffered a lifetime of illness. At 28 he couldn’t walk 20 metres without running out of breath and had spent a year in hospital with drains in his lungs.

His future was transformed when he underwent a revolutionary bilateral lung transplant at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney using the “Lungs in a Box” technology. The “Lungs in a Box” organ care system allows doctors to keep lungs breathing and restores them to a healthy state after their donor’s death. They can be recovered from collapse, injuries due to trauma or resuscitation attempts and antibiotics can then be administered to conquer infection before transplantation.

A month after surgery, Michael was back cycling again and busy running two travel businesses. His gratitude is not just for himself: Michael has two younger brothers with cystic fibrosis who now have hope for a better future too.

By transplanting previously unusable organs, the “Lungs in a Box” technology is predicted to grow heart and lung transplant procedures by 30 per cent. Each use of the “Lung and Heart in a Box” costs $50,000 to replace all consumables after each use; in addition to the $500,000 to perform the transplant itself. The “Lungs in a Box” project is funded by the St Vincent’s Heart Lung Innovation Fund – broadly supporting medical trials and research at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Help St Vincent’s perform more Heart and Lung transplants for the many patients on waiting lists.

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