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To give and to take. To donate and to receive

By John

My wife and I have witnessed both sides of the donation and transplantation equation. We became a donor family when our youngest son David died at the age of 20 and became an organ donor, and then later I was to become a recipient following my own lung transplant.

Many years ago we were advised our son David was in the local hospital, after suffering a severe cerebral haemorrhage due to Marfan's Syndrome. David was six feet seven inches tall (201 cms).

We were most appreciative of the way we were approached about donating David's organs. The respect, dignity, empathy and professionalism from all staff was beyond reproach and was unforgettable. The whole process was explained to us in a most satisfactory manner and we were with the doctors at David's bedside when we were advised that his condition was irreversible and terminal. The two doctors were very thorough in explaining to us how and why our son was pronounced 'brain dead'.

I cannot emphasize enough how the donation of David's organs has cushioned the shock of our loss. Every day since David's passing we have appreciated the fact that eight other people are either alive today or enjoying a better quality of life, thanks to David's generous gift.

My own transplant story began after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. It was not until four years later that I was added to the waiting list for transplantation and a further three years after that I received the long awaited call offering me the gift of life.

My sincerest thanks to the donor and family for this wonderful gift. After having spent three years on oxygen and with a mobility scooter, I now enjoy a free and active life pottering about on the hobby farm acreage my wife and I have bought. I see every day as an absolute bonus and windfall.