Alex was just 19 years old when he died, as a result of complications with his Type 1 diabetes. He was living in Adelaide, having the time of his life, pursuing his dreams by studying to become an aeronautical engineer. His death was, for us, completely out of the blue. For someone who had been so alive and with so much living left to do, to be suddenly gone was, and still is, just impossible to believe.
Alex was a bright and outgoing person, with a huge sense of humour, who always saw the positives in every situation and was extremely loyal to his friends and family. Alex loved his sport, with a passion for basketball. The adrenalin fuelled way that he played on the court, was much like the way he lived his whole life.
Just two weeks before he died, while home from university for the holidays, Alex and his mum happened to hear a story about organ donation on the radio. When asked if he would want to donate his organs he replied, in true Alex fashion, 'Of course I would, but they wouldn't want my useless pancreas.'
This chance conversation meant that when the topic of organ donation was broached to us at the hospital, there was no decision for us to make. We could not believe the complete sense of joy that overcame us when we received news of the successful transplantation of four of Alex's organs. Thinking of the four lives saved, and four families who would not have to lose someone they love brought great comfort to us at such a horrible time.
Hearing updates and receiving cards from the recipients of Alex's organs still brightens our days, and we are reminded that while Alex may be gone, the gifts he was able to give have truly made such a difference to other people's lives.