Brassall Grandmother owes her life to the generosity of a stranger

Image courtesy of West Moreton Health

Brassall grandmother Lyndall Schloss was bed-ridden for 18 months when her heart was failing.

She was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition which enlarges the heart and weakens its ability to pump blood.

During that time in back in 2010/11, while she waited for the life-saving transplant, Mrs Schloss’s Brassall home was flooded in the devastating 2011 flood event and her mum passed away two months before her successful transplant.

She also received four “false alarms” for an available donor organ.

“I had faith that, one, I would get a heart, or two, it was my time to go. I had a peace about that as well. My family knew what my wishes were. Yes, I really wanted a heart but if I didn’t, I believed it was God’s will that I would not be here,” she said.

“They always bring in two people when there is a heart available so if one person turns up and it’s not a good match they have someone standing by who may be able to receive that heart.

“So on three occasions the heart went to someone else and another time, by the time I got there, the heart was no longer viable.

“The last time I received the call I thought ‘this is it, I think my mum is in heaven and she’s pulling some strings’.”

“I had positivity and I got down there and they said ‘it’s a match! Come on, hurry up, we’ve got to get you prepped!’”

While the heart was healthy the aortic valves were damaged so surgeons put a mechanical aortic valve in the donor heart transplanting it to Mrs Schloss.

Mrs Schloss received a life-saving heart transplant in November 2011.

The 65-year-old is now raising awareness of organ donation for DonateLife Week, 29 July – 5 August.

The Brassall grandmother says it was the generosity of a stranger – and their family – that has allowed her to share seven wonderful “extra’’ years with her family.

“Life is just wonderful. To have the gift of life, it’s such an honour, and I am so grateful to the donor and their family,’’ Mrs Schloss said.

Mrs Schloss said she thought everyday about the generosity of the donor and their family, who consented to the donation at what must have been a devastating time.

“The family are the ones that give the final say to the organ being donated. That’s why it is so very important for people to talk to each other so that they can know their wishes about organ donation, then the rest of the family can honour their wishes.”

West Moreton Health’s Donation Specialist Nurse Wayne Stevens, who also works in the Intensive Care Unit, said it was a privilege to work with families to educate them about organ and tissue donation.

He said one person has the potential to save up to 10 lives by becoming a donor upon their death.

“For someone seriously ill, an organ or tissue transplant can mean the difference between life and death, being healthy and sick, between seeing and being blind or between being active and never walking again,” Mr Stevens said. “It enables people to resume an active role in their family, workplace and community.”

He has encouraged the West Moreton community to discuss organ donation with their family and register their wishes at

Australians waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant


of families agree to donation when the donor has registered their decision to donate


agree to donation when they have a prior knowledge of the deceased decision


agree to donation when the donor has not registered and their decision is not known

It takes just 60 seconds and your Medicare card to join the register at

Organ donation is medically possible in less than two per cent of all deaths. Australia has one of the highest transplantation success rates in the world.

Since 1965, more than 46,000 Australians have received lifesaving or life enhancing organ and tissue transplants. For more information call the Australian Organ Donor Register on 1800 777 203.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button