Last month we had DonateLife Week. I hope everyone had a chance to have that very difficult but necessary chat with their loved ones.
That week I met an extraordinary young man from my electorate. Lachlan Wallis knows more than anyone how important it is to register as an organ and tissue donor.
Lachlan was born with a disease of the liver meaning he’d always need a transplant. His condition worsened to the point his father David was preparing to donate part of his liver to keep him alive. But, thankfully, a donor was found. Lachlan underwent a liver transplant at eight years old.
Thanks to the efforts of a complete stranger and their family who chose to give the gift of life, Lachlan survived. Now he’s in his last year at Iona College. He’s a tall guy—taller than me! He plays rugby and cricket at school. Looking at him, you’d never guess he was so sick as a kid.
That’s what takes other sick kids and their parents by surprise when Lachlan visits them in hospital. You see, Lachlan organises hospital visits in his spare time, where he helps young patients going through the same thing he did. He tells me when these kids and their families see him, sometimes just after cricket practice when he’s still in his gear, it shows them they really can get better.
Lachlan’s parents also come along on these visits. They chat with patients’ families, sharing what they went through to help other parents. What an amazing family.
I wanted to thank Lachlan for all the great work he’s done in the community. I heard he wanted to follow his grandfather’s footsteps and become a police officer. So I invited him and David to meet local officers at Wynnum Police Station as part of DonateLife Week.
It was a great morning and I was so pleased to meet this inspiring young man. Lachlan says it’s so important to have a chat with your loved ones about your wishes—to join the Australian Organ Donor Register and let your family know what you’ve done. DonateLife Week is over but it’s never too late to sign up to be a donor. You could save a life.