BiVACOR Heart: Daniel Timms’ stroke of genius

Written by: Trent Dalton Original Article From: The Australian

Photography Eddie Safarik


HE whispered in a Scottish drawl: “You wanna see somethin’ cool?”

Professor John Fraser has been an intensive care specialist for two decades. He established the Critical Care Research Group at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital in 2004. He’s seen cool things before: heart transplants; machines that can rebuild a blackened human lung before your eyes; bodies of children wrenched from the cold and still grip of beyond.

It was three years ago when he whispered the invitation, at a backyard barbecue at his house in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. We were eating sausages, talking about outdoor music systems controlled by one’s mobile phone. The things we humans can accomplish. Our wives went to school together. I’d known him for 13 years, long enough to know that when he asks if you would like to see something cool he’s not about to show you a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

John led me into his house, up a set of stairs to the main bedroom. He said a genius had moved into the office next to his at Prince Charles, an obsessive young biomedical engineer who rarely ate, rarely slept, spent his days and nights clanging and banging and grinding away at strange metal objects. John was privy to the best-kept secret in Australian medical ­science. His name was Daniel Timms and inside his small solitary office in Chermside, Brisbane, he was building a miracle.

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