Member for Bonner Ross Vasta today encouraged local residents to register to be an organ and tissue donor during DonateLife Week 2018 (Sunday 29 July to Sunday 5 August).
“The majority of Australians support organ and tissue donation. Now we’re asking them to make that support count by registering to be a donor at donatelife.gov.au,” Mr Vasta said.
As part of DonateLife Week, Mr Vasta invited aspiring policeman and Iona College student Lachlan Wallis to Wynnum Police Station to meet local police officers, and to talk about his experiences as a transplant recipient.
Lachlan underwent a liver transplant at eight years old. He now organises visits to hospitals in his spare time, where he helps other young patients going through the same thing he did.
“I’m glad to be there for kids, to give them someone to talk to who knows what they’re going through. My parents also come along and chat with their parents and give them advice. In a way, it’s my way of saying thank you to my donor and their family, who I never got to meet,” Lachlan said.
“It’s so important to have a chat with your loved ones about your wishes, and to make sure you’ve joined the Australian Organ Donor Register. This leaves your family in no doubt of your decision to be a donor, should the unfortunate situation arise.”
Lachlan’s father David Wallis said DonateLife Week was an opportunity to have a tough conversation with family early.
“Having this talk before the time comes, as painful as it may be, takes a lot of the pressure off. If you’ve had that chat with your parents or your friends or others close to you, when that time comes, you’ll know what they want to do, and they’ll know the same for you,” Mr Wallis said.
Mr Vasta said registration was crucial, and that joining the Donor Register online took less than a minute.
“In Australia, 90 per cent of families consent to donation when their loved one is a registered donor. When they are unsure, only 40 per cent of families consent. Put simply, more Australian lives could be saved if more people registered to be a donor,” Mr Vasta said.
“Once you’ve registered, we encourage you to discuss this with your family so they know you’re a registered donor.”
“Currently 1,400 Australians are waitlisted for a transplant and more than 11,000 people are on dialysis of whom many would benefit from a kidney transplant.”
DonateLife Week is Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation and is led by the Organ and Tissue Authority. Community events and activities are held across the country and Australians are encourage to support the DonateLife Week campaign online and sharing information about donation through social media using the campaign hashtags #donatelife #whatareyouwaitingfor and #makeitcount.