Ric's Story

My name is Dr Ric Charlesworth, AO. I am an Olympian, former Member of Parliament, Doctor of Medicine, elite sports coach and international motivational speaker.

With an Australian dying of cardiovascular disease every 12 minutes, I’m a passionate advocate for heart research at the Perkins.

It’s intensely personal to me and I’ll tell you why…

I was playing cricket and my Dad was watching from the car. He’s 63, fit, a successful dentist with a busy practice in Rokeby Road. He told me he had pains in his chest and I told him he must see a cardiologist.

I got back from my cricket trip to Pakistan two weeks later and visited Dad. It was a Monday. I asked him if he’d seen a cardiologist and he said he was too busy but he had made an appointment to see someone on Thursday.

Dad never made that appointment. He had a massive heart attack on the Tuesday.

Heart disease is cruel and unpredictable. If you are able to make a Christmas gift to a cause, please make it the Perkins today. It may help prevent the heartbreak of families like mine in the future.

Christmas is tough for my family. Not having Dad around on this day, weighs heavily on my mind. It’s hard to celebrate when you know there’s always going to be an empty chair at the table.

In 2013, tragedy struck my family again. This time, it was my brother, John.

John was my hero. He was 9 years older than me. A brilliant sportsman. He was someone I followed around and worshiped. He was a farmer, a husband, father and grandfather.

On Christmas Day he was holidaying in Busselton with his family. He’d been out on the boat with his grandkids. He came home and went to have a nap. Instead he had a massive heart attack and died that day.

He had a heart attack on Christmas Day.

This Christmas, please help the Perkins get to the heart of cardiovascular disease by donating to our Christmas appeal. Your tax-deductible gift of $52 today will ensure researchers can investigate the cause of heart disease and prevent people from dying without warning.