For those who follow Zinc Moon on social media, you will know that we had an awesome day yesterday.
And it all happened because my husband has had a liver transplant!
DonateLife Week 2016 is coming up….July 31st till August 7th…so we are helping to spread the word about just how important and just how amazing organ donation is.
Our day started with a speaking engagement at a large private school in Melbourne.
We arrived to be warmly welcomed by the staff and school leaders, and discovered we would be presenting to about 650 students and teachers!
We shared the stage with Stephen Warrillow, the Director of Intensive Care and a Medical Donation Specialist at Austin Health, who spoke about the donor process and how families are guided through what is the worst days of their lives.
Also present was Sarah, a Donation Specialist Nurse at the Austin.
My husband then spoke about his transplant journey…what it was like to be so sick and being on the waiting list, through to having the surgery and the subsequent recovery.
And in a similar vein to the other school talks we have done over the year, the Principal commented on how quiet the students were during the talk…you could hear a pin drop.
Which is so rewarding for us as it means that the message was being heard…that organ donation not only saves lives but totally enhances them.
I think it really helps that we are able to show photographs, which have so much more impact then words can ever have.
And they asked some great questions…kids are so much better than adults when it comes to curious minds!
No question is off limits!
After the talk, we were invited to lunch and were able to further answer questions and discuss organ donation and all it entails.
It was a wonderful experience, and we are so grateful to have been invited to speak on behalf of DonateLife and the Austin Hospital.
We then raced home to meet with a press photographer who turned out to be a great guy…I was fascinated to see a professional at work!
He took heaps of pictures of my husband…I may also appear in one or two!
The article is to be published just before or during DonateLife Week 2016…we can hardly wait to see how it all turned out.
These opportunities are such a wonderful side effect of going through something which was so traumatic and stressful…and which could have had a very sad ending.
Just over four years ago, I didn’t know if my husband would survive long enough to receive a much needed donor liver.
Fast forward to today, my husband is 110% healthy and we are standing in front of large groups, speaking…something neither of us could have imagined in our wildest dreams!
We have a very positive story to share, but not everyone has the same experience.
Due to a shortage in donor organs, many die waiting….we know of at least 5 who died while waiting for a liver during the time my husband was on the list.
One fact which brings this into stark reality is that only approx 1% of people die in circumstances in which they are able to become donors…that’s right…1%.
The truth is you are more likely to need a transplant then ever become a donor…and believe me, being on a waiting list is no fun.
I could do nothing to speed up the process as my husband slowly got sicker and sicker…we just had to wait…and wait.
But thankfully, he is one of the lucky ones…he is making the most of this second chance.
So…are you are registered donor?
If not, what are you waiting for?