The co-founder of Caulfield Hospital's Cardiac Support Group (CSG), is retiring after 33 years.
Don Michell, along with Alan Ingram, set up the group as an auxiliary of Caulfield Hospital in 1979 and has only missed a few of the 332 committee meetings held since inauguration.
Don had inside knowledge of the workings of the Caulfield Rehabilitation Unit before forming the group. He had a heart attack at work in 1979, underwent a triple bypass and did rehabilitation at Caulfield.
He remembers the "primitive conditions" when patients did their cardiac rehabilitation in the 70s in a "couple of old huts" and lifted pipes and bags of sand for strength training.
As the inaugural secretary of the CSG, Don and the committee set about fundraising for more resources and raised more than $640,000 since 1980.
For the first time in its history, the CSG granted Don Honorary Life Membership of the group.
CSG president Martin Playne said Don can be very proud of his efforts that have helped so many patients over 30 years.
"We will sorely miss Don's contributions and ideas, and his long term vision," Martin said.
Associate Professor Peter Hunter, Clinical Program Director Rehabilitation, Aged & Community Care praised Don's "phenomenal effort".
"Thanks to Don's dedicated fundraising work over the years, patients have had many more resources and equipment to complete a successful rehabilitation. We thank him for such a lengthy, valuable contribution to the hospital."
Now 88, Don and his wife Gwen will spend some time in WA with family and enjoy some relaxation.