Sue remembers her Dad Michael as someone who was ‘always there for us’. ‘He was keen for us kids to toe the line and was even a bit authoritarian, but if we needed anything he was the first to offer assistance,’ she says.
Michael had been a hospital orderly and had been married for 55 years to Fran, an enrolled Nurse. They had three children, nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
As he aged, Michael’s sight and hearing deteriorated but he was otherwise healthy. Then one day in 2011 at home with Fran at the age of 76, he suffered a massive brain haemorrhage.
‘The ambulance took him straight to hospital,’ says Sue, a Registered Nurse. ‘Dad was on a ventilator but we knew that night that he was not going to survive. Just knowing him, and the conversations we’d had as a family, we had no hesitation when DonateLife approached us about organ and tissue donation.
‘He was surrounded by his family – there was no disagreement – we were all on the same page.’
Michael’s liver and kidneys helped to transform three people’s lives. ‘Dad was always keen to ensure nothing was wasted – if there was stale cake Mum had to make it into a pudding,’ says Sue.
‘We said, ‘he’s still not wasting anything.’ Sue’s commitment to organ and tissue donation remains strong. ‘More people should do it,’ she says.
‘It’s not a hard thing to say yes to – if there’s not going to be any quality of life. ‘It’s vital people discuss it with their families – donation needs to be talked about.’