Medical and donor concepts
Medical and donor concepts takasuu

How you can save lives by filling out a single form

AT ANY time, more than 1300 people in Australia are waiting for an organ transplant.

And last year, 503 dead donors saved a record 1448 Australians.

While last year there was a 16% increase of dead organ donors on the 2015 number, it is no wonder that donor recipient Renee Falconer described the organs as "like gold".

Renee received a lung transplant in December 2015. Her lung capacity, due to her cystic fibrosis, was 15% when she went in for her operation.

She was preparing herself and her loved ones for her death.

Since the transplant, the 26-year-old has started to make long-term plans with her husband again.

I have thought about Renee's story a lot in the past few days, and the lottery of life that gives some of us good health while others face battles from the get go.

We do not choose our genes. Our parents do not choose their genes.

Sometimes, people receive a few tiny differences in their DNA which changes everything for them from the moment they are born.

And 503 donors from a population of nearly 24 million is a pretty poor effort on our part.

So, with those thoughts, I registered for organ donation on the Federal Government's Donate Life website.

It is a five-minute process that makes your wishes about organ donation clear.

A blanket email to my loved ones will make the decision even simpler for them should I die. Family members are the ones who get the final say in a person's organ donation.

According to the government's website, up to 10 lives can be saved from a single organ donation.

I know people shy away from discussions of death and dying. But death is the only certainty in life, and good health is not a right. It's a privilege.

Transplants give people a second chance to, in the words of my partner's sister, "squeeze the juice out of life".

What use are my organs to me if I am dead?

For more information, and to register, go to donatelife.gov.au


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