Simple promise a life-changer
Transplant recipient Olivia Steele is encouraging others to pledge a life-saving donation on the eve of the Australian Transplant Games.
Organ donation has allowed me to live my life again and be happy
OLIVIA Steele owes her life to an organ donor she has never met.
The 14-year-old, of Glendenning, was born with a rare liver disease and doctors said she may not see her first birthday.
The now healthy teenager is featured in Gifted, a new campaign for Transplant Australia which aims to promote organ and tissue do- nation in the lead-up to the Australian Transplant Games in Western Sydney in September.
Olivia and her family waited more than seven months for a donor, and received that much-anticipated call just before she turned one.
Mother Lisa Steele said they had almost given up hope.
“At first we were jumping at every phone call but after seven months we were think- ing ‘it is never going to happen’,” she said.
Before her transplant Olivia had 23 admissions to hospital and weighed just 5.6kg. She spent three months in hospital recovering from the surgery.
Olivia still requires daily medication but she has become a talented athlete, travelling the world to dance and competing in state and national swimming carnivals.
She said she now dedicated her life to raising awareness for organ donation by competing in the Australian Transplant Games every year.
“Organ donation has allowed me to live my life again and be happy; compet- ing at the Games lets me see that I am just like everyone else and I get to live a normal, happy life,” she said.
“I encourage all Australians to donate their organs to save other people’s lives. Organ donation has changed my life.”
Mrs Steele also encouraged everyone to register as an organ donor.
Details: donatelife.gov.au or australiantransplantgames.com.