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What I’ve learned in 2 years

Two Years On: A Journey of Hope and Organ Donation Advocacy

Two years ago today, my wife, Claire Manning, stood outside the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, anxiously collecting my personal effects. COVID had created a barrier, preventing her and others from visiting me during the 10 days I lay in a coma, with sparse updates on my condition.

Amidst the uncertainty, Claire received two crucial calls that would shape the trajectory of the upcoming year. The first call informed her that, in a daring move, doctors had halted vital heart medication in the hope of finding a donor. The narrow window for surgery added pressure to the quest for a life-saving match.

Later that fateful evening, the second call brought a glimmer of hope. Another family, despite their own grief, selflessly chose to donate their loved one's organs. Their compassion granted me the gift of life.

Reflecting on this pivotal moment, it's disheartening to recognise the challenges faced in organ donation consent rates. In 2022, only 34.9% of families approached agreed to donation, and 247 potential donors were lost despite initial consent.

Looking forward, the OTA goal of achieving a 70% consent rate by 2027 seems challenging unless something dramatically changes.

The statistics for 2023 project around 515 potential donors, and the hope is that both the overall consent rate and the percentage of families saying yes will rise.

As we anticipate the future of organ donation, the need for increased awareness and support becomes evident. Each family's decision carries immense weight, impacting lives and offering the possibility of a second chance.

The journey ahead hinges on a collective effort to foster understanding and encourage more families to say yes, bridging the gap between potential and realized organ donations.

FACT : In Australia, numerically more families of people who are not registered donors on the Australian Organ and Tissue Registry say yes to organ donation than families of registered donors.

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