With the help of Melbourne’s Donor Tissue bank, Epworth Cardio-thoracic Surgeon Peter Skillington has just turned around another young person’s life.
Growing up with a leaky aortic heart valve, 18 year-old Hamish Pownall had to forego any strenuous activities or sporting hobbies. When the idea of an aortic valve transplant was suggested by an expert in the Ross Procedure, Hamish was hopeful he would be lucky enough to be a successful candidate for the transplant.
Mr Skillington has performed the Ross Procedure hundreds of times with the success rate close to 99 per cent. His patients do not have to take medications such as Warfarin, which they would need to do if they received other valve replacements, and the donor valve lasts for up to 50 years.
Photo of Hamish Pownall courtesy ABC News