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“My contribution to THRF is supporting vital medical research that improves the lives of so many Australians, and that’s saving peoples lives every day.” - Ossy, THRF Life Guardian.

Without the help of a very clued in neighbour and access to world-class treatments and care, Ossy may not have lived to see in the 2010 year.

Having previously been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, Ossy didn’t think much of it when he woke at  4am on New Years Eve having trouble breathing with a very low pulse rate of 30bpm. However he was lucky that later that morning Ossy’s neighbour Helen, an emergency nurse, happened to call in.

“She took one look at me and told my partner Sylvia to ring an ambulance,” recalls Ossy.

The next few minutes were a whirlwind, with the ready response ambulance car arriving within minutes followed by an ambulance that was required to transport Ossy to TQEH quick smart.

“Once I was in emergency, they very quickly diagnosed that I had an electrical blockage in my heart,” said Ossy.

An electrical blockage means that the electrical impulses are not able to reach the bottom ventricles of the heart, causing all the work to be done in the upper chamber (the Atria), which isn’t able to supply all the blood that the body requires.

“Luckily, my blood pressure was still relatively good: often when people get blockages their blood pressure drops so dramatically and so quickly that many people don’t make it,” said Ossy.

Ossy Grotto THRF Life Guardian medical research support
“It’s so important to give to THRF, as it is this kind of support that enables medical researchers at The Institute to find treatments and cures, but also to discover better patient care options that help the nurses and doctors do their jobs so effectively,” he said.

World-class care

Ossy said the service and treatment he received at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital was just outstanding.

“By about 5pm that afternoon they had already completed surgery to insert a Pacemaker,” he said.

“I have spent time at TQEH before and I’ve always found that even though they get thousands of patients coming in, each time you seem to get treated as though you are someone special. They don’t just come in and do the necessities.”

Becoming a Life-Guardian of medical research

The experiences that Ossy has had at TQEH had a real impact on his decision to become a Life Guardian of the THRF in 2007.

“About 4 or 5 years ago when I needed ablation to treat my atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), the hospital had been waiting on funding for a few years for some equipment which they required do complete my surgery. It really made me think about the kind of support that’s required to make positive changes in peoples lives like they did with mine when they finally were able to perform the surgery,” he said.

“My contribution to THRF is supporting vital medical research that improves the lives of so many Australians, and that’s saving peoples lives every day.”

Slowly, Ossy’s doctor, Dr Sverdlov is increasing the time between checkups as Ossy’s Pacemaker is doing its job effectively.

“My heartbeat regularity has improved out of sight,” he said.

Frighteningly, if Ossy hadn’t gotten to hospital when he did and didn’t receive the high quality treatment once he arrived, he may not have survived.

“I’m extremely grateful to Helen for realising my need to go to hospital, and to the nurses and doctors at TQEH for the outstanding treatment and care I received,” he said.

“It’s so important to give to THRF, as it is this kind of support that enables medical researchers at The Institute to find treatments and cures, but also to discover better patient care options that help the nurses and doctors do their jobs so effectively,” he said.

“That is why I’ve chosen to be a Life Guardian.”

 

find out more about becoming a Life Guardian