If I Could Talk To My Donor

It’s the most precious of gifts, and one that we can never say thank you for in person. But what if we could?

A sensitive exploration of the devastating, beautiful duality of life and loss that defines organ donation, If I Could Talk To My Donor articulates aloud what transplant recipients might say to their donors if they had the chance.

The film is written and directed by Jayden Cummins, who received his own life-saving heart transplant in February 2019.

  • Jayden Cummins
    A True Reflection
  • Jayden Cummins
    A True Reflection
  • Peter Flynn
  • Isabella Bigarelli
    Key Cast
  • Margaret Kazzi
    Key Cast
  • Gary Cridland
    Key Cast
  • Jada Unal
    Key Cast
  • Matilda Harley
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, PSA
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 24, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital - Sony
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jayden Cummins

Jayden is a film and television production veteran of more than 30 years.

Jayden is also a heart transplant recipient, having received the most precious gift from a complete stranger in February 2019.

Prior to transplant, Jayden’s production company, Aperture Productions, focused on film production in broadcast, corporate and advertising. He wrote and directed an extensive slate of campaigns for many large-scale clients. He is also Executive Producer of the children’s animated series Buzz Bumble screened nationally on the NINE Network, and has several feature film and television series scripts in various stages of production and development.

In 2017, Jayden was struck down with the flu, which went on to attack his heart. Within days of being admitted to hospital, he was placed on full lifesupport and transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. There, he underwent emergency surgery and was given an artificial heart (LVAD).

Jayden lived for 436 days on the machine while he waited for the call that would save his life. Ultimately, that call came one morning in early 2019, just ten days after speaking at a press conference with Minister Ken Wyatt about the importance of organ donation.

It should be noted that Jayden suspended all operations of Aperture Productions after his health deteriorated in 2017. As life leading up to transplant was unpredicatable, Jayden focused purely on his health, and the welfare of his son, Henry. Now that he has received his beautiful new heart, Jayden is finally in a position to start planning his life again, and can finally get back to work. The production of this little film is his first official foray back into the workforce.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Life on an organ transplant waiting list can be arduous and challenging. Would-be recipients face uncertainty every single day, hoping that today will be the day when they receive ‘the call’. While waiting on the heart transplant waiting list, I lived with an artificial heart for 436 days - and it taught me many things. Perspective. Resilience. Patience. When you’re chronically ill, every day is about survival. For me, the only thing that got me through that 436 days was hope and gratitude. I was truly thankful for every day that I woke up, and held onto hope that my new heart was just around the corner.

It’s a strange situation when waiting for a heart transplant. Knowing that someone must die in order for you to live, is a dichotomy that everyone one the list thinks about daily. It’s unavoidable. In that time, I found myself thinking about my future donor. Who was he? What was he doing at that exact moment? I often thought about what I would say to him if I could meet him. In my case, I say “him” as it was likely that I would get a man’s heart, due to my size.

In October last year, I wrote an open letter to my future donor. It was a cathartic process, and it gave me the opportunity to thank, in advance, the man that would ultimately save my life. A man that I would never meet.

This is the inspiration behind this film. What would recipients say to their donor if they had the chance?

The premise was to take a cross section of would-be recipients, and give them a voice. It was shot with REAL patients whose requirements are different, as are their individual hopes and dreams, but the outcome is united, and the message is clear.


I was lucky enough to receive my beautiful new heart in February 2019 . On that day, I was delivered the heart of a lion. It came to me already filled will love and kindness. I see my only job from here is to keep it full. Therefore, this film comes from the heart. It’s authentic, and is voiced by people who are waiting for that same gift of life.