They saved my life | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Inspiring Stories, OpenHouse News, Patient Stories

Every Christmas, Doug Heard brings a present for his surgeon, Prof Jonathan Clark AM, and his specialist cancer nurse, Cate Frogatt.

“When people ask why, I say – they saved my life.”

Doug first met Prof Clark in 2011, when he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer of the lower jaw. His treatment began with a complex, fifteen-hour surgery involving a free flap – a reconstructive technique where tissue is transplanted from another part of the body to the face.

Doug has been diagnosed with four different primary cancers since 2008. In 2015, another cancer appeared on the other side of Doug’s jaw, requiring another surgery.

“You couldn’t get a better surgeon and doctor. Dr Clark is brilliant and unbelievably kind – and Cate is just fantastic,” says Doug.

Doug and Karen give a monthly donation to head and neck cancer research at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, to help find better treatments for patients like Doug.

“We donate monthly because the hospital, the staff, the atmosphere – it’s all fantastic. It’s not a lot but we want to support all those who have helped us so much.”

To join the Heards and learn more about the impact you can make through a regular gift, contact Kate Overton-Clarke at or phone 02 8514 0647.



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