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Open your heart for a vital cause


Story by Samantha Robin

It doesn’t matter whether you’re 21 or 81, heart trouble can affect anyone and if it does, you want to be treated by the best cardiac specialists, equipped with the latest technology.

No one knows this better than Chris Molin. The 21-year-old was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome at 15 years old, a connective tissue disorder that mostly affects the heart and eyes, a condition he’d had since birth.

People with Marfan syndrome typically have long arms, legs and fingers and are tall and thin. At six feet and eight inches tall, Mr Molin certainly fits the body type.

Mr Molin has since had two major open heart surgeries, two emergency collapsed lung surgeries and has had many hours of vitally important physical rehab.

“It is always scary when you know you have to have heart surgery but I was comforted because I knew I was in good hands with the surgeon and medical team at Cabrini,” he said.

“I think the biggest difference between having surgery now compared with having surgery 20 or 30 years ago is the technology and equipment. And when you are faced with having open heart surgery, you want to know they are using the latest technology.”

Mr Molin is an ambassador for Cabrini’s inaugural Giving Day on 28 November, which aims to raise vital funds for life-saving equipment for patients with heart problems.
Donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by donors who have pledged their support for this vital cause.

The health service is planning to raise $620,000 in 24 hours to purchase two new machines – 10 medtronic ventilators and a cardiology ultrasound system.

“Cabrini saved my life. What they’re doing in terms of patient care is cutting-edge and it is mind-blowing how advanced the technology is. And the way they’re future-proofing it is really important for the community,” Mr Molin said.

“Any type of cardiac surgery is life-changing so this new equipment is going to help make an enormous difference to a lot of people.”

Cabrini staff, including doctors, nurses and even the Chief Executive, will be manning the phones on Giving Day to endeavour to reach the target.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, one of our biggest challenges is being able to raise sufficient funds to purchase the latest equipment and technology,” Cabrini Chief Executive Dr Michael Walsh said.

“The funds raised from Giving Day will allow us to invest in high-quality equipment to ensure our patients receive the best possible care and treatment, so I would encourage anyone who can to make a donation – it might save your life one day.”

The medtronic ventilators will be used for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who have had life-saving open heart surgery.

During the past 12 months, more than 520 Cabrini patients have been placed on ventilators to keep them alive in the ICU. The ventilator helps to keep patients breathing during an induced coma until their condition is stable and they are able to breathe unassisted.

The cardiology ultrasound system is used to diagnose heart failure and will be particularly useful for oncology patients needing cardiac testing, as it reduces the amount of radiation patients receive. It is portable, allowing it to be used throughout the hospital, including in the ICU and emergency department.

Cabrini Foundation