Maryborough's 4 year old Braxton Slama, starting prep at St. Mary's, with his grandpa Bob Magee who had a heart transplant 18 months ago.
Maryborough's 4 year old Braxton Slama, starting prep at St. Mary's, with his grandpa Bob Magee who had a heart transplant 18 months ago. Alistair Brightman

Lifesaving transplant: Bob sees grandchildren start prep

EIGHTEEN months ago, Bob Magee was given two options - 15 weeks or 15 years to live?

After years of suffering from a heart condition, the latter would mean a heart transplant.

For Mr Magee, the choice was simple.

"I get to see two of my grandchildren go to their first day of prep," he said.

"I didn't think I'd be able to see that."

On Monday morning, Mr Magee saw his four-year-old grandson, Braxton Slama, to his first day of prep at St Mary's, 530 days after receiving his life saving transplant.

In June 2016, Mr Magee attended his usual cardiologist appointment where he expected to have fluid drained near his heart.

Instead, he was told if he didn't get a heart transplant, he would only have 15 weeks to live and at 59-years-old with five children and seven grandchildren - 15 weeks simply wasn't an option.

After qualifying for a transplant and spending five weeks on the waiting list, Mr Magee finally received a new heart but instead of his health improving, things started going downhill fast.

Mr Magee's wife, Denise, said although his new heart was functioning properly, his other organs began to fail.

"He was taken into ICU and his lungs started to harden and then his kidneys started to fail," Mrs Magee said.

"He spent 88 days in ICU and three months on ventilators. Just so many things went wrong."

Mr Magee said since his transplant, his outlook on life completely changed.

"When I hear a baby screaming, I don't complain because I'm thankful I'm alive to hear the crying," he said.

"You just don't realise how special life is until it's almost taken away from you."

The experience reminded Mr and Mrs Magee of the importance of discussing organ donation with family and friends.

"I'm just so grateful to the person who donated their heart," he said.

"Even just watching the grandkids on the beach is a blessing which I'm so happy to experience.

"Little things become so important and there's things you don't want to miss out on."



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