'This is the call': Life as a teenager waiting for a heart transplant

SBS NEWS  | Camille Biancci, Ben Winsor

Every time the phone rang, Joel Seeto hoped it would be the call that saved his life. This is what it's like to be on the Australian organ transplant list.

Joel Seeto was 18 when he was told his heart was failing.

"Obviously my first reaction was f**king hell, a heart transplant, that's absolutely nuts, I can’t do this, I can’t handle this," he said.

Symptoms from a genetic condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, had been worsening for several years.

Simple activity such as climbing stairs would cause shortness of breath.

Mr Seeto was placed on the organ transplant list, and doctors told him it could be three to six months before a suitable heart became available.

"Every time the phone went off, any time of the day, it didn't matter when it was I was like this is the call, this is the call," he said.

The call eventually came at 6am and within two hours Mr Seeto was in surgery awaiting the lifesaving procedure. Continue reading