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Emily Smith (she/her)
Transplant, Chronic Illness, Mental Health & Maternity
Place of Birth: Australia
Current location: Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
Age: 27 years old
Language/s: English only
NDIS Participant: No
Diagnoses: Postpartum Cardiomyopathy, Heart transplant (2021), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Mental Health, Secondary and Tertiary care.
Emily Smith is based in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales and is an advocate for maternal health and organ transplantation, after being diagnosed with postpartum cardiomyopathy and receiving a heart transplant less than 3 months after her son's birth. Emily had a healthy pregnancy up to 32 weeks when she experienced reduced movement, requiring further scans and an induced labour. After a complicated birth and an almost 2L haemorrhage, Emily returned home with her son for 6 weeks, where she became increasingly unwell. After presenting to a local emergency department, she was transferred between 3 local hospitals before being sent to a larger specialised hospital in Sydney where she was diagnosed with postpartum cardiomyopathy. In ICU, she was told she was in heart failure and required a transplant, which she was fortunate to receive quite quickly. Emily's experiences have given her a unique perspective on early motherhood, postpartum health and organ donation, especially in the extreme context of COVID lockdowns. She now lives as someone with a chronic illness, on immunosuppressants post-transplant, with migraines and PCOS.
Emily has a passion for mental health, after experiences with an eating disorder in her teens, medical trauma through her birth and transplant experience and lack of holistic support post-transplant. Motherhood was always a dream for Emily, and her son Hudson is her biggest achievement. However she wishes to raise awareness and improve support and pathways for people with infertility or looking into surrogacy, especially as post-transplant pregnancy is not possible and this is often not communicated upfront. Emily wishes to use her lived experience to raise awareness, advocate and share her story, whether that be in advocating for improved organ donation policies to parliament, or being part of podcasts and media to reach new audiences.
Emily's son of course - he is her biggest achievement in life
Bachelor Degree in Public Relations
Starting a small business in 2022 just a year after transplant
Featured across online media and live television interviews
'Young mum receives heart transplant giving her a second chance at life' - Emily featured on Sunrise
'How often have you heard a mum going through a heart transplant 11 weeks after giving birth?' - Emily writes for Tiny Hearts
'Weeks after giving birth a strange symptom left an Aussie mum staring death in the face' - Emily featured in an article by 7News
'FEED FEARLESSLY: Emily & Hudson' - Emily featured by Mamamoo
'‘We had to keep going’: How doctors grappled with transplants during the pandemic' - Emily featured in an article by the Sydney Morning Herald
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