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Raf Epstein looks on during Hamish's heart valve transplant surgery. Image courtesy of ABC 774.
Raf Epstein observes Hamish’s heart valve transplant surgery. Image courtesy of ABC Local.

We are thrilled to be a part of a compelling four-part series on ABC 774’s Drive program highlighting heart valve donation.

Hamish’s Heart is the story of a young Melbourne man named Hamish Pownall who recently underwent a heart valve transplant using a donated heart valve from the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria.

Hamish, who was born with a leaky aortic valve, has endured a life of being told to ‘take it easy.’  His heart condition, which prevented oxygen-rich blood being pumped around his body, caused fatigue, clamminess and shortness of breath.

At age 18 he was presented with the opportunity of a transplant using a human heart valve from the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria.

Each afternoon from 5.30pm, starting Monday 8 through to Thursday 11 February, listeners can tune in to ABC 774 Melbourne to hear the inspiring story of Hamish’s Heart.Register to become a tissue and/or organ donor today.

ABC radio presenter, Raf Epstein was granted extraordinary access to the operating theatre at the Epworth Hospital to witness Hamish’s heart valve transplant operation called the Ross procedure. With the generous permission of Hamish and his family, as well as Peter Skillington (the cardiothoracic surgeon who performs the procedure) listeners will be given a unique chance to join a young man and his family on a life-changing journey.

We will be posting links to the audio features here once they have aired, or you can listen via the web here.

Like all tissue in Australia, the demand for human heart valves is greater than the supply. We encourage everyone to find out more about tissue donation and to have the conversation with family about your decision to become an organ and/or tissue donor.

Join the conversation:

DTBV on Facebook


ABC 774 Melbourne Press Release (5 Feb 2016): Hamish’s Heart

Drive with Rafael Epstein – ABC 774 Melbourne


Red Cross Blood Service

Support Dr Skillington as he rides around Thailand raising funds for cardiac services at Epworth.



Source Tissue


Process Method

QC Testing




Hamish’s Heart