Precious organ gift worth gold to patients
AT ANY time, more than 1300 people in Australia are waiting for an organ transplant.
And last year, 503 dead donors saved a record 1448 Australians.
While last year there was a 16% increase of dead organ donors on the 2015 number, it is no wonder that donor recipient Renee Falconer described the organs as “like gold”.
Renee received a lung transplant in December 2015. Her lung capacity, due to her cystic fibrosis, was 15% when she went in for her operation.
She was preparing herself and her loved ones for her death. Since the transplant, the 26-year-old has started to make long-term plans with her husband again.
I have thought about Renee’s story a lot in the past few days, and the lottery of life that gives some of us good health while others face battles from the get go.
And 503 donors from a population of nearly 24 million is a pretty poor effort on our part.
So, with those thoughts, I registered for organ donation on the Federal Government’s Donate Life website.
It is a five-minute process that makes your wishes about organ donation clear.
A blanket email to my loved ones will make the decision even simpler for them should I die. Family members are the ones who get the final say in a person’s organ donation.
According to the government’s website, up to 10 lives can be saved from a single organ donation.
I know people shy away from discussions of death and dying. But death is the only certainty in life, and good health is not a right. It’s a privilege.
Transplants give people a second chance to, in the words of my partner’s sister, “squeeze the juice out of life”.
What use are my organs to me if I am dead?