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Double Transplant Recipient To Make Ironman History

Kate Phillips is about to take in the Ironman Challenge, just five years after receiving a double lung and heart transplant.

What you need to know
  • Phillips was born with a congenital heart condition.
  • By her early 20s, Phillips was in full pulmonary crisis.
  • She will take on the Ironman Challenge, a 3.86 kilometre swim, 180 kilometre bike ride, and 42 kilometre run.

Kate Phillips is no ordinary triathlete. Five years ago, she received the gift of life – a double lung and heart transplant.

And she’s about to take on one of the most difficult sporting events in the world.

The Ironman. A 3.86 kilometre swim, 180 kilometre bike ride, and 42 kilometre run.

As a child, Phillips was born with a congenital heart condition, and was “told not to do most stuff". By her early 20s, Phillips was in full pulmonary crisis.

At 23, she suffered her first heart attack, and was listed for a heart and lung transplant, but warned just how rarely these come available, particularly for someone with a petite frame.

She got the life changing call five years ago this month.

Now, she runs half-marathons, cycles hundreds of kilometres, and has taken on half Ironman events.

On Sunday, she’ll share her story at DonateLife’s annual organ and tissue donation Service of Remembrance at Victoria Park Golf Complex. There, family of donors, as well as recipients and their loved ones, will pay tribute to the ultimate gift.

And next weekend, Phillips will swim, ride and run the Ironman in Cairns. Remembering her donor with every heartbeat, and every breath.

  • Right now, around 1500 people are waiting for a life changing transplant.
  • Around 50 on the waiting list are children.
  • Since 1965, more than 46,000 people have received life saving or life enhancing organ and tissue transplants.

You can register online in less than two minutes. To find out more or to register, visit donatelife.gov.au