Organ donation helps Petra beat all odds
Petra Brosch was enjoying a routine daily jog along Elwood Beach when she collapsed suddenly and went into cardiac arrest.
Shocked to find the 35-year-old unconscious and without a pulse, one quick-thinking passer-by started performing CPR, while another called for an ambulance.
Paramedics worked tirelessly to revive Petra, both at the scene and during the urgent trip to hospital, where she would spend the next month in a medically induced coma and on life support.
A specialised procedure was performed, connecting Petra’s heart to a mechanical pump on the outside of her chest, but to survive irreparable heart failure, she would need a crucial, life-saving heart transplant.
After two months in the Intensive Care Unit at The Alfred, a heart became available, thanks to the generosity of a family that consented to their loved one becoming an organ donor.
“I am alive today thanks to the incredible work and quick-thinking of Ambulance Victoria paramedics, specialists at The Alfred, and the selflessness of a donor family who said, ‘yes’ to organ donation during their time of grief,” says Petra.
“I am indebted to them all and they fuel my commitment to staying fit, healthy and strong. I received the greatest gift of a new heart and a new life, and each day when I exercise, I push myself to do my best because that’s when I feel the most alive and present,” Petra says.
To mark the recent four-year anniversary of her heart attack, Petra paid a special visit to Elwood Beach. “I went down to the emergency marker at the beach and released some flowers into the ocean in memory of my old life, which died with me that night,” she says.
Now a triathlete, Petra wants to do her lifesavers proud and has a resolute dedication to raising awareness about organ donation.
Her message is simple: register to become on an organ and tissue donor and have a conversation with your loved ones, because – like her – one day it might be you or a family member that needs it, too.
Click here to register as organ donor visit