Reasons to help straight from heart
AFTER spending 36 years working at the University of WA Medical School and Department of Microbiology, Peta Locke appreciates the importance of research.
The Booragoon resident spent part of that time as secretary to Professor Neville Stanley, the father of celebrated epidemiologist and child and maternal health researcher Fiona Stanley.
Retired, but still determined to contribute to the growth of medical knowledge, Mrs Locke began doorknocking for the Heart Foundation in 2003.
Since then, she has collected nearly $5000 during the annual September appeals, and in 2009 received another reminder of the importance of what she is doing.
“About six years after I started, my husband David became ill very suddenly.
“A bacterium got into his bloodstream that went directly to his aortic valve and damn near destroyed it.
“Within three days, he was being operated on to have an artificial aortic valve inserted.
“He’s had it ever since and is still going strong.”
The operation forced Mr Locke, a former South of Perth Yacht Club commodore and Melville City councillor, to miss his daughter’s wedding, but it saved his life, driving home the importance of medical research for his wife.
“It’s just a small contribution I can make, and while I’m quite fit and healthy, walking up and down the street a few times is no problem at all, and every little bit helps,” she said.
Heart Foundation volunteers have been active through September, but can’t reach every household.
Donate online at www.bigheartappeal. org.au
Peta Locke with her husband David.