Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Teacher Turns Heart Attack Into IT Career

Shaun Killian is obsessed with studying, reading, improving his knowledge and using it to help others.

A teacher for most of his life, Shaun ran into health complications that altered his path and led him to a career in web design, starting his business WEBsmall Website Design in 2021.

Shaun started teaching in Collinsville in 1991 and spent most of his teaching career as a Tech Coordinator.

“As schools got more and more invested in technology, I remained as Computer Coordinator in many schools and was comfortable teaching teachers about it as well as teaching kids,” he said.

Shaun’s long career as a teacher came to an end in 2012 when he had a heart attack in front of his year 7 class at a Sarina primary school.

He waited four years for a heart transplant and used this time to spread his wings and expand his knowledge.

“I was constantly studying and reading research about effective teaching, and I turned it into user-friendly advice based on research in a blog, so I learned how to do everything myself,” he said.

Shaun underwent a heart transplant in 2016 but it wasn’t without complications, ultimately spending 495 days in hospital and losing both of his legs.

After six months of focussing on his health back in Mackay, he decided he wanted to capitalise on over 15 years’ experience in websites and embark on a new career.

“I started helping friends and colleagues with websites and working on a few more of my own,” he said.

“The thing I get from work is helping people, whether it’s helping kids learn or helping small businesses grow, and it was a way I could help people given my physical circumstances.”

WEBsmall Website Design assists small businesses to launch or grow their online presence, offering more than just a website.

“I actually want to help them and to do that, I need to understand the business, the business owners, what they need from a website and give them advice as if their business is my business,” Shaun said.

Whether it’s launching a new website or improving a current one and increasing clicks, Shaun loves to see people and businesses succeed.

Visit to find out more.

Shaun Killian learning to use prosthetic legs after losing his following a heart attack. Photo supplied

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