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Dr. Jillianne Code is a Canadian researcher, educator, and learning scientist specializing in learner agency, online learning technologies, and the impact of social media on student success and well-being. As the Director of the ALIVE Research Lab at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Code studies agency ‘unbundled’ from formal education, including video games, virtual reality, and social media communities. Her most recent work considers learner agency and power as it relates to algorithms and digital futures in education.

However, Dr. Code’s most important role is that of a heart failure survivor and two-time heart transplant recipient. Following her heart transplants, to honour the efforts of her medical team and the sacrifice of her donors, Dr. Code has worked to advocate for the inclusion of patients as partners in healthcare practice and research. In 2016, Dr. Code co-founded the HeartLife Foundation with Marc Bains, Canada’s first – and only – national patient-led heart failure organization that has grown to include a network of heart failure patients across Canada. In 2022, HeartLife was awarded Effective Voice of the Year by the World Heart Federation for the Heart Failure Patient and Family Caregiver Charter, which has since been translated into 17 languages by the Global Heart Hub and endorsed by more than 30 patient organizations worldwide. In 2020, the feature documentary My Broken Heart, about Dr. Code’s life, was recognized with an Honourable Mention at the Santa Monica International Film Festival and is available to screen here.


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a documentary.

On December 3, 1967 the first heart transplant was performed.  50 years of innovation in science and technology since that date has bought about improved life expectancy and outcomes – yet there are still many unknowns.

My Broken Heart is a feature-length documentary shot over 5-years.  The documentary follows the lives of Jillianne Code, Mark Wilson, and Cody Halfpenny as they face the challenges of heart transplantation. 

Exploring the journey from end-stage heart failure, LVAD, heart transplantation, and organ rejection, My Broken Heart is an unflinching look at the possible complications and consequences of organ transplantation. 

Producer/Director: Nick Zap
Cast: Jillianne Code, Cody Halfpenny, Mark R. Wilson