Can you imagine a faecal transplant saving your life?

BiomeBankEnabled by The Hospital Research Foundation thanks to your support, Adelaide researchers have established the first public stool bank in Australia, designed to treat severe and chronic bowel conditions. Pioneering this life-changing work are Gastroenterologists based at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr Sam Costello and Dr Rob Bryant.

Dr Costello and Dr Bryant have discovered the benefits of using faecal transplants to treat two common bowel conditions, Clostridium Difficile infection and Ulcerative Colitis.

This revolutionary and somewhat unique treatment is now changing the lives of everyday people living with these debilitating diseases. People like young Stephanee Hermsen.

When Stephanee was 16-years-old she was diagnosed with kidney reflux, where urine travels up to the kidneys and damages them. With her kidney function only eight per cent, a kidney transplant was inevitable and Stephanee’s loving mother put up her hand.

Young Stephanee was living in constant pain until a stool transplant transformed her life.

It was after the transplant that Stephanee was diagnosed with Clostridium Difficile infection, a consequence of antibiotics and the anti-rejection medication she took after the transplant.

“All my gut flora (good bacteria) was destroyed, I was extremely sick and ended up back in hospital,” Stephanee said.

Stephanee was soon referred to see Dr Costello who restored her gut health with a revolutionary faecal transplant.

“The faecal transplant provides healthy gut microorganisms that can out compete the Clostridium Difficile infection in the bowel and rejuvenate the damaged gut ecosystem. In doing this it prevents Clostridium Difficile from causing infection,” Dr Costello said.

“Stephanee had tried many courses of traditional antibiotic therapy that had not been able to eradicate her infection and so a faecal transplant was the last remaining option for her.”

In December 2016 Stephanee underwent a stool transplant, becoming the first Australian patient to have both a kidney and faecal transplant. The transplant was successful and restored Stephanee’s normal bowel function.

“I was back to normal the day after my faecal transplant and had regained my energy. I’m so glad I had the operation and I hope this will work for others in a similar situation as myself – it’s been life-changing!”

THRF is thrilled to be working with Dr Costello to operate BiomeBank, the first ever public stool bank in Australia to treat severe bowel conditions.

Learn more about BiomeBank and how you can donate money or stool (entirely up to you!).