Filmmaker Damon Gameau nearly developed permanent health damage in his search for hidden sugars during the making of award winning documentary That Sugar Film.

Last week he returned to the pathology laboratory that monitored his health during his journey to the brink of poor health from hidden sugars. Adam Bandt, Federal Member for Melbourne, joined Damon on the tour.

So how do you celebrate winning an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award in the same week as receiving word that your film is the highest grossing Australian documentary of all time? Well, go for a blood test, of course.

Damon was reunited with his regular collector, Sharon, to have his blood drawn in order to discover if his health has returned to normal since he went back to a low sugar diet. Over the course of the next hour, Damon and Adam witnessed the journey from vein to result, and the vast array of laboratory investigation that happens in between.

Pathology Awareness Australia Ambassador Dr Ian Clark led the tour showcasing departments including microbiology, cytogenetics and haematology.

The lab is one of the busiest in Victoria and is responsible for producing 16,000 test results a day. Adam and Damon watched state-of-the-art technology and met the highly skilled people working 24/7 behind the scenes to produce life-changing results. They even examined slides comparing a healthy liver to a ‘fatty liver’ so they could see the effect Damon’s experiment had on his body – Damon developed a fatty liver after just 18 days of eating a high sugar diet.

Adam Bandt was clearly impressed:

“I am proud that Melbourne is home to world-leading medical facilities. It is a privilege to meet the people involved and see their work first-hand.”

Damon breathed a sigh of relief when he received his blood test results at the end of the tour – less than an hour after blood collection. Thanks to the help of the lab he went home knowing his health was better than ever.