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VickiHi my name is Vicki Derderian. I live in Melbourne Australia. I'm a 47 year old mother of two beautiful children and wife to my caring and devoted husband John.In 2015, my life changed when I was diagnosed with Myocarditis which then led to Cardiomyopathy. This resulted in rapid deterioration in my condition. Further investigation in 2017 concluded that it was highly likely due to Sarcoidosis – which is an auto-immune condition that attacks the organs or skin in the body and in my case my heart. It remains unknown what triggered Sarcoidosis.


Up until 2018, I was working in my husband’s business and trying to adjust to live with a heart condition. I changed my diet and exercise routine to help me live a reasonably normal life as any other mother and wife would.


The possibility of a heart transplant was always on the cards for me, however, given my condition was stable and managed with medication, they were able to hold off on that.

Show of solidarity and love for Vicki in Bourke St Mall MelbourneShow of solidarity and love for Vicki outside the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne

Unfortunately, in November 2020, my heart condition worsened and during a routine consultation I was admitted to hospital with decreased heart function which could no longer be managed with medications. As a result my body and organs started to shut down and I was rushed to an Intensive Care Unit  and put on  ECMO -life support. I was in a coma for six weeks. Doctors at the Alfred Hospital were able to save my life by inserting a bi-ventricular assist device (BI-VAD’s) to keep me alive. The BiVAD’s acts like an artificial heart to pump blood to my body and is surgically inserted  on the right and left side of my heart placed inside my heart to keep blood flowing. They are battery and electricity operated everyday to keep me alive. It is important to note that most people only have heart failure in one side of their hearts, but I have heart failure in both the left and right ventricles-  both the mechanical function and electrical function have stopped.


The BI-VAD’s have kept me alive for the last 3 years but sadly the average life expectancy for patients with BI-VAD’s is 4 years. This means that my time is running out quickly. I need a heart transplant urgently. It is my only possibility of staying alive.

The one and only reason I want this transplant is so to be able to love, protect and raise my children and be there for my husband. I can't bear the thought of our children without their mother and John having to raise them on his own. As any mother and wife would know, it is determination to protect and love them for as long as I can that drives me to fight to stay alive.

As an Australian citizen, I am entitled to full health care in the expectation that I may live.

Before Covid vaccinations rolled out, the Alfred Hospital (where I have been receiving treatment) were positive and indicated that I would be a suitable candidate for a heart transplant. Despite no Government mandates for transplant patients and the Alfred’s own hospital policy (that says it does not discriminate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated) the Alfred Heart Centre team made it clear to me by September 2021 that I would not receive a heart, unless I get the Covid-19 vaccination.


Despite agreeing to take all the other vaccines the hospital required me to take (vaccines that are fully-approved and don't carry the same level of risks as the Covid-19 vaccinations) the Alfred would not change their minds on their policy 


They are immovable on this. Myself and many others in Australia are being denied our right to equal treatment as other transplant units in Australia have this uncompromising policy.

To add insult to injury, I am being denied life saving surgery by the Alfred Hospital even though I have held a full medical exemption for the Covid-19  vaccination all this time, recognised and accepted by the official Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). The most frustrating part for me and my family is that it is not a Government requirement nor a requirement of the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ).

Vicki with husband John and friends

Vicki and husband John

Vicki with brother Gary and husband John

After two years of patiently waiting and hoping the Alfred Hospital finally accept my exemption or change its staunch policy, in June 2022 I applied to have my case heard at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This is Melbourne's version of "the people's court".

The gruelling experience has taken so much energy out of me. Appearing at one of the many hearings, I was interrogated for nearly 3 hours as though I was on trial for committing a crime. It became evident through the hearing, the hospital are determined to treat me as though my right to surgery is unreasonable and not valid. They were relentless in ensuring that I will never be eligible for a heart transplant, despite their previous assurances.  My advocate did a great job in cross-examining the Alfred  doctors and their experts, however the Senior Member residing was clearly leaning towards the side of the hospital.

Two weeks out from closing submissions and final decision of the hearing, the Alfred Heart Centre suddenly contacted me to make a full evaluation of my status (despite the fact that they could have done this at any time in the previous year.) The night before closing submissions, my advocate received submissions from the Alfred’s representative stating that I am no longer eligible for a heart transplant because the Alfred team has assessed me as being so unstable that I now require a heart, two lungs and a kidney. I was outraged by this and so was my advocate. They are using their medical status to bully me and destroy all my options irrespective of the Tribunal’s decision.

The Alfred’s assessment did not involve respiratory specialists nor renal specialists and yet they were adamant in their medical opinion. It's obvious the Alfred Hospital is sabotaging any chance of me ever receiving a heart transplant. This means that even if the Tribunal rule in my favour, it will be useless and futile.

The prolonged and exhaustive process has taken its toll on me and my mental health. It's overwhelming I and can't continue to wait in hope for the impossible. I'm deeply saddened that the Hospital are doing everything in their power not to accept me as a candidate for transplant.

The hearing has also taken a huge toll on my family. It is abundantly clear the hospital have no intention of changing their position regardless of my individual health condition. They say NO JAB NO HEART under all circumstances.

As an Australian citizen, I am heartbroken and my only option now is to try and have transplant surgery overseas. Time is running out and I require help urgently. I must have this before my health deteriorates and I am no longer fit enough to survive the procedure. The costs will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. My family and I will have to work extremely hard to make sure that can be achieved.

Hundreds of people have already contacted me during my struggle and I've been featured in news stories. So many people have encouraged me to take a stand, to seek funding and they have dedicated themselves to help save my life. I am so deeply grateful for their humanity and generosity.

I wish to thank those who have spent many hours researching hospitals around the world and their dedication to try and  save my life.

The costs to seek this procedure overseas will include the treatment, the stay at the hospital for recovery and observation, flights there and back and other support needed as well as accommodation when we are there. I will have to leave my children in Australia with their grandparents, while John and I embark on this journey.

All financial support to see this process through, no matter how small, will help me immensely.  My family and I are so grateful.
I am humbled by the support and generosity of everyone and I express my thanks to God, a thousand-fold,  for putting good people like you in my path.

Any fundraising event will also be a chance to bring people together who are open-minded and celebrate what we have accomplished together in standing up against tyranny of these establishments.

Again, words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation.