Gift of life in sud­den death

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

A MOSS­MAN woman has been able to tick off one of the items on her “bucket list” af­ter be­ing given the gift of life and re­ceiv­ing a kid­ney from a 22-year-old man who was killed in an ac­ci­dent. It is now five years since Donna El­liott

re­ceived her new kid­ney and it has dra­mat­i­cally en­hanced her life.

“I am so grate­ful to this young man who gave me life when his was taken away,” Mrs El­liott said.

“The first thing I was able to do was to see my 90-year-old mother which was such a joy for both us.

“It was real nightmare to go and see her be­fore the kid­ney trans­plant as I had to un­dergo dial­y­sis for two-and-a-half hours ev­ery day and that would mean book­ing a dial­y­sis ma­chine at the hospi­tal which was an hour’s drive away from where mum lives in Lau­ri­eton, near Port Mac­quarie in New South Wales.

“And then mum would be up­set at see­ing me like this and so it was very dif­fi­cult.

“But I’ve since seen her while I’ve been in good health and she is so much hap­pier - I’ve been glad to be able cross that off my bucket list and leave my mum in good spir­its.”

The next item Mrs El­liott is keen to bump off her bucket list is to travel over­seas.

“The only place I have been ’over­seas’ is Snap­per Is­land and when I do go over­seas I would like to do it in small steps such as go­ing to New Zealand first, or Van­u­atu, then maybe ven­tur­ing to Europe,” Mrs El­liott

said. “But what­ever hap­pens, it’s all be­cause the young man who gave me his kid­ney gave me a new life to be able to do these things.”

Since re­ceiv­ing her trans­planted kid­ney, Mrs El­liott said a num­ber of “funny things” have hap­pened.

“I used to have re­ally straight hair and now I have re­ally curly hair,” Mrs El­liott said.

“And be­fore the trans­plant I would never eat av­o­ca­dos or drink beer as I hated these things, now I can’t get enough of them - I know that sounds odd, but it’s true.” For the past five years, since re­ceiv­ing her new kid­ney, Mrs El­liott has writ­ten, via an in­ter­me­di­ary, ev­ery year to thank the man’s fam­ily for his gift of life.

Mrs El­liott told her story last week to en­cour­age oth­ers to be­come or­gan and tis­sue donors as part of Do­nate Life Week.

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