Pre­cious or­gan gift worth gold to pa­tients

Central and North Burnett Times - - READ - — Letea Ca­van­der

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?

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