Rebecca Craven was sleeping when she heard the alarm go off the first time. It's a sound she will never forget.
Waking, disoriented and with the ringing in her ears, her heart raced. That only served to make things worse.
The alarm was sounding off from a laptop attached to two batteries and a controller that powered a pump. The pump was attached to a chord that wound its way into Ms Craven's stomach and up into a heart just like yours and mine but with a few important differences - hers was made of metal.
Inside the 27-year-old Gold Coast model's chest was a bionic heart, one of only a handful in Australia at the time.
Her real heart had stopped working months earlier. Now her artificial heart was sputtering, too.
"Even now when I hear that sound, or a sound similar to it, I shudder," Ms Craven told news.com.au.
"That was very scary. There's this alarm going off saying something's not right. I had an electrical fault that they don't see very often and if the power had stopped working I would've only had a few minutes to get to the hospital before I died."
In an ambulance, Ms Craven's father Marty sat as still as possible, holding the controller and terrified he'd drop it.
"Turns out the connectors that attach the external control box cable to the pump inside her had corroded and were failing," Mr Craven said.
"If they had failed completely ... that would've been the end of her."
Ms Craven was rushed into the operating theatre where surgeons opened her up again. She was without circulation for spells of more than two minutes at a time but the surgery was a success.
Eight months later she would be operated on a again. This time, though, it was to remove her bionic heart and transplant a human organ in its place.
This month she marked a significant milestone. Two years on and with a new, donor heart beating away inside her chest, the patient knows that while the bionic heart came with its issues, it also saved her life.
Not just a travel bug
It was in November of 2013 when a very routine Bali getaway turned Ms Craven's life upside down.
She visited the popular Indonesian island and returned home with what she describes as a common head cold. It was much more serious than that.
Doctors treated her for pneumonia for almost five months but when she failed to improve they realised it was not her lungs at all. Her heart was being attacked by a virus she'd contracted somewhere in paradise. The illness she was experiencing was heart failure.
Ms Craven was told by doctors at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane that the only option was to operate. If they didn't she'd be dead within a month. The problem was they didn't have a human heart. So they went for the next best thing - a ventricular assist device (VAD).
"To me being told I needed a heart transplant, I was prepared for that - a heart. I wasn't prepared for a mechanical heart. When they told me, it happened really quickly. Literally within three days of telling me I was booked in.
Michael Hornby is the CEO of the Prince Charles Hospital Foundation which leads the research into perfecting these devices. He told news.com.au the VAD that saved Ms Craven is good, but it is imperfect.
"There's a window of opportunity for people to be saved and Bec was one of them. When the heart has failed, it's broken. So we use these devices which are basically heart pumps to push the heart."
For Ms Craven, the bionic heart meant 24-hour at-home care and not overextending herself. Hornby explained why.
"Right now the bionic heart comes with its problems - it's not ideal. There are a whole lot of specific things within the pump that can be improved. If a patient gets out of bed and feels dizzy, the human heart knows it needs to pump more blood. The bionic heart doesn't know that yet. They work at a constant speed and are designed for a constant flow."
He said researchers at a laboratory attached to the foundation - known as the ICETLAB - are working on a next generation bionic heart that will "think for itself" and "speed up and slow down as required".
With a new device, the alarms that Ms Craven experienced should also become less common.
Inside the lab perfecting the artificial heart
Hornby says eventually there's hope the bionic heart could see a patient through the rest of their lives.
"There is potential down the track that it becomes destination therapy - that people who are fitted with the devices can live with them long term." he said.
"We'd want to see them used like a mobile phone battery where a person lies in a recliner and gets them recharged."
Right now, in state-of-the-art labs more than 40 artificial heart research studies are underway. Researchers are trying to reduce the risks of blood clots and infections and create the variable speed devices that can respond to the changing needs of the human body as a human heart would.
Hornby said to see that dream realised, researchers need support. The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation launched an appeal over Christmas for help to ensure people like Ms Craven get the support they need, when they need it.
He said hopefully a "smart heart" could be achieved with $5 million in funding over the next 12-18 months.
"The costs for us are about $44 an hour to fund research and we're not that far away. But one of the big things the public doesn't understand is the funding of these researchers is through public donations alone.
"The researchers survive from funding to funding. It's a bit like throwing chips at seagulls."
He said people only need to look at a story like Ms Craven's to understand why the work is so important.
"In this world, everything we talk about is statistics. But when you meet a girl like Bec and form a friendship with a person who is a living, breathing example of what you can achieve, it's pretty inspiring stuff."
Both parties are inspired. For Ms Craven, she says the researchers, doctors, nurses and staff attached to the hospital are among her favourite people on earth.
"Every single one of those people have my heart forever," she said.
"Honestly they're amazing. I go to the hospital and I think they're all my friends. I think they are, I wish I could be friends with them outside. I don't know how I could ever repay what they've done."