How Organ Donation Saved Josh’s Life

Canberran Josh Lindenthaler is alive today thanks to the generosity of organ donation. Photo: Gary Ramage

Canberran Josh Lindenthaler is alive today thanks to the generosity of organ donation.

Josh was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in his mid-twenties – a heart condition that prevents the heart from pumping blood throughout the body.

After his diagnosis, Josh’s physical condition slowly declined. In 2016, the active physiotherapist began suffering from cardiac arrhythmias causing his heart to beat irregularly, and he had a pacemaker fitted after numerous surgeries to try and improve his rhythm.

When it became clear that his condition would be detrimental to him in the long term, Josh was assessed for a heart transplant in May 2021 and was put on the transplant list a few months later.

“In addition to several episodes of a fast and abnormal heartbeat, I had bad arrhythmias that put my heart at the worst,” Josh said.

Josh went from mountain biking one week to ICU the next.

Josh underwent a heart transplant at the age of 38. After almost six weeks of recovery, he was able to return home to live his life with his new heart.

“I do everything I wanted to do before but my heart wouldn’t allow me to do. It’s my best way to give back and honor the donor and their family,” said Josh.

Josh works with Donate Life ACT to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, and as National Donate Life Week approaches, he encourages others to register as an organ donor.

“Why not help someone else?” I think that’s the greatest thing anyone can do. You can save up to seven lives by donating your organs when you die and helping countless others.

It only takes a minute to register your decision to donate your organs, and it’s even easier if you have the Medicare app.

Josh is now striving to achieve goals such as finishing half an iron man and competing in the 2023 Transplant Games.

“It’s my way of making the most of the gift I received. I do my best to help others by spreading the message of the importance of organ donation,” Josh said.

If you are interested in being an organ donor, it is important that you also talk to your family and friends so that they are aware of your decision.

This Gift of Life Week, consider making the gift of life and registering your organ donation decision on the Donate Life website.

In ACT, families also have the option of having their loved one’s donation recognized on the donor’s death certificate. These recognitions recognize the important contribution that organ and tissue donors make to the community.

You can apply for organ and tissue donation recognition on the Access Canberra website.

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