Because little is known about people’s experiences of heart and lung transplantation in Australia and no published scholarly work on the topic, researchers at Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine designed a research project to learn about how people experience heart and lung transplantation. There were two goals: to make the stories of personal experience available online for others to see, and to analyse the accounts to contribute to scholarly knowledge.

The researchers are Dr Claire Stubber PhD and Dr Maggie Kirkman PhD

In addition to her scholarly qualifications, Dr Stubber has the experience of having lived for 23 years with transplanted heart and lungs. She is a past committee member of the Heart and Lung Transplant Trust (Victoria). Claire’s PhD examined both the experience of heart and lung transplantation and Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Her thesis is in the library of the University of Western Australia: “Reconstructed bodies: A fictocritical consideration of the personal experience of organ transplantation and Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’” (2013). Claire and Maggie have also published a paper based on Claire’s thesis: Stubber C, & Kirkman M. (2016). The persistence of the Frankenstein myth: Organ transplantation and surrogate motherhood. Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 99(1), 29-53. doi:10.5325/soundings.99.1.0029. Claire tells her story on this website.

Maggie is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and a senior research fellow at Monash University. Her research focuses on psychosocial aspects of health, bodies, reproduction, and sexuality. She has expertise in qualitative research methods, especially the use of in-depth interviews for investigating sensitive topics. Her research has been published in international peer-reviewed journals as well as disseminated in books, chapters, and articles for the general reader. Maggie is the interviewer in these videos.

The Monash researchers work in partnership with the charity Heart and Lung Transplant Trust (Victoria) and the Alfred Hospital Lung Transplant Service.