Financial and social supports for the transplant journey

Financial and social supports for the transplant journey


The HLTTV has released a new booklet listing many of the financial and social supports available to transplant recipients, their families and carers to make a difficult time a little easier: HLTTV Financial and Social Support Booklet v1

When Belinda's family needed to move interstate to support her husband's critical medical needs, she found herself and their two children with nowhere to live, and few social connections. As her husband lay in ICU fighting for his life after many years of illness, financial issues soon became a real concern.

"Even though we'd known ill health would have an impact on our life, it was still a massive shock to realise how quickly our savings were eaten up with moving costs, rental costs and of course, the loss of income," said Belinda, current President of the Heart and Lung Transplant Trust of Victoria (HLTTV).
Belinda remembers back to 2012 when a quick Google search resulting in 'HLTTV' was a huge game-changer for her and her family.

"Through the HLTTV Patient Support program, I was almost immediately able to chat to someone who'd had a heart transplant and could give me really practical advice about what to look for in rental accommodation. John Bisiach was my first connection, closely followed by Louisa Walsh - who quickly recruited me as a volunteer which was a brilliant way to feel less alone, and more connected to people who understood what we were going through," she said.

Louisa Walsh played a key role in recruiting Brett Larner, the booklet's author/compiler, and with HLTTV being 100% volunteer run, it was always going to be a team effort.

"Getting into financial difficulty is a common theme for many families on the transplant journey, and understanding this was a key motivation for us to create this resource" said former HLTTV president and double lung transplant recipient Louisa Walsh.

Belinda and Louisa are thrilled to make this new resource available, with Brett's original efforts being fine-tuned with help from Alfred Health social work team members Megan O'Leary, Andy Allen and Jane Harris. HLTTV volunteers Graeme Klemm and Adam Miller took care of graphic design and editing.

The booklet contains topics including:

1. Accommodation options

2. Alfred Health supports

3. Financial support and concession options

4. Legal support options

5. Travel, transport and accommodation options

6. Social and carer support options

7. Organisations for extra information and support

Alongside HLTTV's flagship Second Chance Accommodation Program, HLTTV is proud to help those on the heart and lung transplant with many other supports including:

  • information and support about transplants and organ donation available on our website, including our quarterly publication The Circulator
    peer support and connection with other transplant patients through our social media platforms, or one-on-one 'buddy' support with a HLTTV volunteer
  • online access to the unique stories and experiences of seven transplant recipients
  • education and support provided in conjunction with Alfred Health post-transplant education team
  • donations to the Alfred to improve facilities and resources, including treadmills and other equipment
  • emergency financial assistance to families before and after transplant surgery
  • fitness grants that reimburse eligible members to cover costs of fitness activities and equipment
  • Heart to Heart Respite House in Barmah, a place for pre and post heart and lung transplant patients and families to rest, recuperate and recover in a self-contained house in a peaceful environment