David Glass

Joy for Irish family as son receives donor heart

A three-year-old boy with rare medical conditions has been handed a new lease of life after receiving a donor heart.

David Hope Glass, whose father Liam Glass hails from Tyrone, underwent an eight hour transplant operation, his sixth open heart surgery in his short life.

“We got the call in the early hours…I dropped to my knees,” Mr Glass said.

“We’re feeling very excited but guilty for the family that’s lost their child.”

David Glass is recovering well on immunosuppressant drugs after his heart transplant.

David Glass is recovering well on immunosuppressant drugs after his heart transplant.

While the Glass family were not able to contact the family who provided the donation, they “bless them abundantly” for giving their child the greatest gift.

After months living at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, the Glass family had been allowed to move into a nearby apartment three weeks prior to the transplant, but with just one quarter of David’s own heart functioning his parents had been told to prepare for palliative care if he relapsed.

He is now recovering well on immunosuppressants, which are preventing his body from attacking the foreign transplanted organ.

The young boy had never recuperated so rapidly from a surgery, his dad said.

Earlier Story: Tyrone Dad’s appeal for suffering son

Parents Liam and Cindy Glass have relocated their children David and Bella to Melbourne for their son’s treatment. Photo: Adrienne Myszka.

Parents Liam and Cindy Glass have relocated their children David and Bella to Melbourne for their son’s treatment. Photo: Adrienne Myszka.

“He was always blue to look at, now we see pink lips…he’s like a new boy,” his father said.

Relatives in Tyrone not only prayed for an end to the turbulent times, but also organised local fundraisers which, at the Glass family’s request, will help not only David but other children facing medical emergencies.

“There’s no stopping these people,” Mr Glass said.

“They’ve rallied around us.”

Tyrone locals gathered for a community football game to raise money for David Glass’ cause.

Tyrone locals gathered for a community football game to raise money for David Glass’ cause.

The family, who call Adelaide home, have been supported by friends and strangers alike in Australia and abroad since David’s birth, with recent assistance from Melbourne’s Irish Australian Support and Research Bureau.

Since his life-saving surgery, the three-year-old’s parents have been looking forward to the future, hoping to take their children to visit Liam Glass’ Ireland hometown in coming years.

“We’ve started to dream.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Glass family meet the costs of David’s care and recovery.




Tyrone Dad's appeal for suffering son

An Adelaide Irish family is praying for a heart transplant to save their three-year-old who has endured five open heart surgeries to alleviate his rare conditions. 

David Hope Glass was transferred to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital in May, where he is reliant on a pacemaker, mechanical valve and heart failure treatment drug Milrinone to keep his tiny heart beating. 

With just one quarter of David’s heart properly functioning, his parents remain hopeful for a “miracle”, with his Irish father Liam Glass saying the family had placed their trust in God since finding out about David’s condition when his mother Cindy Glass was 20 weeks pregnant.

“We want to show what faith and hope can do, and hopefully one day David can tell people,” he said.

David’s list of medical conditions is long and complex, from Atrioventricular and Ventricular Septal Defects which have left holes in the walls separating the chambers of his heart, to Pulmonary Stenosis, characterised by an obstruction of the flow of blood from the right heart ventricle to the lungs.

The David Glass Appeal is raising money in young David’s name. Photo: Go Fund Me.

The David Glass Appeal is raising money in young David’s name. Photo: Go Fund Me.

An appeal in his name has raised more than $8,000 through Go Fund Me, leaving his parents overwhelmed by the kindness of friends and strangers.

Melbourne’s Irish Australian Support and Research Bureau has also helped the family while they have been in Melbourne.

The money is intended to relieve pressure on the family, with both parents left unable to work as they care for their first-born.  

David was placed on the waiting list for a donor heart this year, his father explaining, “It’s the only option.”

According to Transplant Australia, patients needing a heart transplant commonly wait nine or more months for a suitable organ donation.

Patients can often depend on Milrinone for years, but it is difficult to predict how long it will be effective for each individual, leaving David’s parents and doctors in the dark as to the urgency of a transplant.

While most children with severe heart failure can use a mechanical heart device known as a VAD until a transplant is undertaken, this option would likely be fatal for David due to the increased risks associated with having only one working ventricle. 

Father Liam, David, mother Cindy and Bella at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. Photo: Adrienne Myszka, Heartfelt.

Father Liam, David, mother Cindy and Bella at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. Photo: Adrienne Myszka, Heartfelt.

Despite being in a state his father described as sickly stable, David is otherwise like any other child his age. 

He adores his little sister Bella who keeps him company in the hospital, and is obsessed with the children’s show Mister Maker, with starring actor Phil Gallagher recently showering his young fan with signed gifts. 


“He’s a happy, humble wee boy,” said Mr Glass.

David (so named for the young faithful who defeated the mighty Goliath) has his own battle ahead as he awaits a donor heart, but Mr Glass believes his son is in the best hands after he pulled through a recent surgery against all odds. 

The Glass family had been told to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. 

“The surgeon came out crying and said God got me through that...we’ve been praying for the hands helping David.

“I said, ‘now you’re speaking my language’.” 


If you would like to donate to the appeal, visit Go Fund Me.

The Glass family thank Adrienne Myszka for providing photography free of charge.