Gift of life in sudden death
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.