Hearty walk part of Melissa’s lifestyle

two goals now within reach
two goals now within reach

The 47-year-old was born with a heart problem, diagnosed with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) as a teenager and then suffered heart failure two years ago.

In February, Ms Wrightson ” an organ donor herself ” received the gift of life with a heart transplant, making it possible to achieve her goal of walking the 12km Chevron City to Surf for Activ on August 25.

The finance manager said after having the transplant she felt wonderful and ready to exercise as though she was 21 years old.

‘At that stage I had two immediate goals ” to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and live my life to the fullest, taking advantage of the great new heart I had and my physical ability to do more active things,’ she said.

‘I saw a poster advertising the City to Surf DonateLife team and I thought ‘great, that gives me an avenue to achieve both goals’ ” raise money for Transplant Australia and achieve a personal goal (walking 12km ” which I have never done in my life prior to the transplant).’

Ms Wrightson said her life was now split in two parts ” BT (before transplant) and AT (after transplant). ‘My new life motto is AT rocks,’ she said.

‘Not many people get a second chance at life and I certainly plan to live each day to the fullest and never forget the incredible gift my donor has given me.

‘It is a great tribute to the donor that they have saved the lives of others and a fitting way for the donor’s family to remember their loved one and the impact they have had on other’s lives.’

Ms Wrightson said she was able to do light weight training and walk 4km a day in preparation for the 12km walk thanks to her new heart.

‘Many members of the community understand very little about transplants and organ donation, unless they have been personally impacted by it,’ she said.

‘Many of my own family and friends have told me this was the case with them before my transplant and now all of them are registered organ donors. Transplant Australia aims to educate the community regarding organ donation and that is why their work is so important and life-saving.

‘We have an incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Cardiac Transplant unit at Royal Perth, but their great work is limited by the lack of available donor organs.’

For more information on Chevron City to Surf for Activ or to register, go to chevron citytosurf.com.