REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Giving the gift of life for DonateLife Week

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GRATEFUL: Peter and Vicky Treloar. It's been two years since the anonymous donor and their family agreed to give the heart that saved Vicky life. Picture: Brodie Weeding

GRATEFUL: Peter and Vicky Treloar. It's been two years since the anonymous donor and their family agreed to give the heart that saved Vicky life. Picture: Brodie Weeding

You might have heard it before, 'nothing is certain in this world, except death'.... oh and taxes, as Benjamin Franklin once said.

Not to get too morbid, but no doubt we've all thought about our own death at some point - what it would mean for our loved ones; or what it could mean to possibly save someone else's life through organ donation.

While many Aussies believe it's important to be an organ and tissue donor, only one in three people are actually registered.

Organ donation is an act that relies heavily on people's generosity, or the generosity of a family to gift or donate the organs of their deceased relative. It's an incredible gift.

It's been two years since an anonymous donor and their family agreed to give the heart that saved Vicky's life.

After suffering from heart problems since she was 19, Vicky, now in her 50s, gets emotional when she thinks about the fact the heart beating in her chest once belonged to someone else.

"Thanks isn't really enough to say, but what can you say? You're forever grateful," Vicky told The Advocate.

Lung transplant recipient Noel McCaffery, with dogs Annie and Jock, take in the view of their truffle farm in Tasmania. Picture: Paul Scambler

Lung transplant recipient Noel McCaffery, with dogs Annie and Jock, take in the view of their truffle farm in Tasmania. Picture: Paul Scambler

Noel McCaffery said he found it difficult to put into words how grateful he was to be alive.

After suffering for years with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Noel McCaffery had one last hope for survival - a new set of lungs.

"I can't describe it... the thanks I have for my donor and whoever their family was," he told The Examiner this week.

There are around 1700 Australians waiting for an organ transplant at any given time, and for many of them it will be the difference between life and death.

This week is DonateLife Week 2020 and it's a good a time as any to have 'that' chat about becoming an organ donor with family and friends.

As it's no longer included on your driver's licence, Aussie's need to register to become a donor online.

Last year, 1683 lives were transformed by 548 deceased and 239 living organ donors and their families.

Also during 2019 more than 12,000 Australians benefited from eye and tissue donation.

DonateLife communications officer Davin Hibberd said it was important people understood the impact organ donation could have on somebody.

"The circumstances that families find themselves in when donation could occur, are typically very sudden and often very tragic. So a family hasn't had any time to prepare for conversations around end of life," he said.

"So it's important people register as a donor and have those conversations with family. For some of them, they're effectively waiting for the gift of life to ultimately change their life."

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