From Caroline Collins, pictured above with her brother Simon
I am a local Lennox Head resident with a personal organ donation story and I would like to help encourage Australians to register their donation decision during DonateLife Week.
My brother Simon Gooden was born with only one kidney and unfortunately developed a medical problem which meant it was just a matter a of time before he would need a transplant.
It was the generosity of two deceased organ donors on the Australian Organ Donor Registry that saved Simon’s life twice, firstly in 1976 when he was just 16, and again in 1984.
Last year he desperately needed another transplant. This time I became the kidney donor and flew to the U.K where he now lives, for the surgery. My brother would not have survived this long without the decision of the previous donors to register their decision to donate their organs.
From the day of our surgery Simon and I agreed that we would do everything we could to raise awareness of Organ Donor Registration.
We have just passed the 12 month anniversary of our surgery and to celebrate I would like to let everyone know about DonateLife Week to encourage more Australians to join the Organ Donor Register online.
There are 1,400 Australians waiting for a life-saving transplant, and a further 12,000 people on dialysis.
Nine in ten families agree to donation proceeding when the deceased is a registered organ donor. This drops to just five in ten families when the deceased is not registered and the family had no prior knowledge of their loved ones wishes.
While 81% of Australians believe that registration is important, only 34% of those aged 16years+ have joined the Donor Register.
The average wait for a donor is 3 years, 7 years is not uncommon, while some people die waiting because the need is higher than the available organs.
For those waiting for a transplant, organ and tissue donation can mean the difference between life and death, being healthy and sick, between seeing and being blind.
One organ donor can save the lives of up to 10 people as well as transform the lives of their families.
You can register to donate your organs here.