Suffering intestinal failure since infancy, Brendan Cole’s outlook looked grim, until Austin Health surgeons performed an Australian first – a complex multi-organ transplant, which included replacing his small intestine, liver, pancreas and duodenum.
“I was 6-foot-1 and weighed 48 kilograms. I received 100 per cent of my nutrients through Total Parenteral Nutrition via an IV. Food was a foreign concept to me. It was just a fond memory,” says Brendan.
In the latest episode of Let’s Talk Organ and Tissue Donation, podcast host Michael Billings speaks to Brendan in a powerful interview about the difficulties he faced growing up with intestinal failure, his struggles as an adult, and the ground breaking transplant surgery that gave him a new chance at life.
When talking about his donor family, Brendan says, “Thank you is one of those phrases that doesn’t seem enough. This family has done something that has given me a chance to have a future. Not only a future for myself, but to have an impact other people’s lives, raise a son, and be normal,” says Brendan.
“In their darkest time, when they had just lost someone, they made the brave, heroic decision to donate their loved one’s organs. To have the foresight to think of someone else - you can’t thank them enough. They are heroes.”
Stories of strength and resilience amid adversity are being showcased in the new podcast series produced by radio announcer Michael Billings and our DonateLife Victoria team.