Last year in Victoria, a record 193 donors and their families made the selfless decision to donate organs – saving the lives of 529 people.
Organ recipient Jane Roulston would not be planning her honeymoon today had it not been for her donor.
“Organ donation is a miracle and donors are heroes,” she said.
Diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver at the end of 2014, Ms Roulston received a liver transplant in September 2015.
Ms Roulston said the wait for a new liver was terrible.
“Every phone call at home was distressing thinking ‘it might be this one’.”
During her six month wait, Ms Roulston experienced three dummy runs. Three times she was called into hospital for a transplant and three times it was cancelled.
“I was called down to the hospital but there was either someone worse off or the liver wasn’t viable for me,” she said.
Having been diagnosed with pneumonia in September 2015, Ms Roulston was admitted to Bendigo Health and said she was on her deathbed before she finally received the news she was getting a transplant.
Now almost four years since her operation, Ms Roulston said organ donation has changed her life.
“I haven’t been in hospital since. Life is going great,” she said.
“Four years ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d be married again and planning a honeymoon. I enjoy every single day that I’ve been given a second chance of life,” she said.
As a registered organ donor and a recipient of organ donation, Ms Roulston said registering to become an organ donor is incredibly important and asked people to consider how they would feel if it was their family member who needed a life saving transplant.
“I wasn’t going to live and now I’m forever grateful to my donor,” she said.
There are 1500 Australian’s waiting for a life saving organ transplant with a further 11,000 on dialysis who would benefit from a kidney transplant. With one organ and tissue donor able to transform the lives of 10 or more people, a conversation about organ donation could one day save the lives of many.
To register to become an organ and tissue donor, visit donatelife.gov.au or call 1800 777 203.
– Grace Aicken