I was so pleased to see this post and realise that the OTA have finally agreed that Deceased Donor Families can be and should be considered heroes.
I so clearly remember the day I met with The Organ and Tissue Authority in the Shangri La hotel in Sydney last year and I raised posthumous recognition of deceased donors and the concept of donor heroes.
I was told the OTA didn’t want deceased donors to be called heroes or the families recognised as such.
Since I awoke from my miraculous life saving transplant I have felt and believed that my Donor and their Family were heroes who along with the doctors and everyone involved were heroes. Every day I do what I can to honour them and work passionately with out payment or any other support to make changes across our great country to raise awareness for the critical and vital role families have in organ donation.
I know my advocacy is Impacting on legislative and policy changes in NSW where I live and in other states like SA, WA and Victoria. I was humbled when my story was read into Hansard during the debate on the recent bill to amend the Organ and Tissue Authority Act by Josh Wilson Federal MP for Fremantle in WA whilst my local MP Emma McBride sat in the Prime Minister’s chair in the Australian Federal House of Representatives in Canberra.
I have seen the impact the Order of St John Medal and the Special Medal of Honour has had on consent rates in the uk and USA respectively and know a similar program in Australia would impact on our declining next of kin consent rates.
I have socialised the idea of a Special Order of Honour award to deceased donor families with different people across the Transplant and organ donation journey and many feel the same way I do.
I have share a proposal previously shared with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat as well as members of the NSW Parliament and others.
I know some think my style makes them uncomfortable that, but despite their opinion of me and the work I do, I hope they can see their way clear to understand that my advocacy has a valuable role in the Organ and Tissue Donation discourse in Australia.
I will continue to work tirelessly in my pro bono capacity to impact the landscape directly, or surreptitiously to increase the number of lives saved through greater next of kin consent.
Founder and Senior Advocate