Hi 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.
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
NO JAB, NO HEART
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.
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 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.
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.