My name is John Russo, I was born in Yarram, Vic. On 11th December 1932, and I received a heart transplant on 7th October 1992 after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. I have been married to Moyra for 48 years and we have four sons and four daughters, thirteen grand-children, and one great-grandson.
When I got the call, we were spending the night with friends in Croydon, as we were living in Warrnambool at the time. Earlier that day on 6th October Don Esmore suggested that I would probably qualify to be put on the waiting list for a heart transplant. That night the phone rang at our friend's home about 10 p.m. to advise me that a heart was available which would suit me.
After the initial shock we grabbed a bag and headed for the Alfred, so I never made the waiting list after all. My most embarrassing moment was when I decided to see my son in law out to the car park after evening visiting hours, only to find the doors all locked. When I tried to re-enter, after some anxious moments I found someone to direct me back to my ward, so all was well.
About two years after my transplant we decided to build a mud brick home to live in, and my friend Libero, who had his heart transplant a week before mine offerd me build it. We are now living in the house in Croydon.