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Damian's Gift of Life

By Sonya

Damo was only 35 years old when he died. He was a loving husband, doting father, a son, brother and son-in-law. He was also a very accomplished police officer. He came out of that special mould that makes the best cops. He died doing what he loved.

Although his life ended a long time before it should have, how many people can say that they had it all. Our life was nothing special but we had each other and our children, our home and we were making plans for the future. All of that was taken away in an instant because Damo was doing what he loved best, "catching the bad guys".

Damian was ridiculously fit. It was nothing for him to go and run for a good hour and a half and cover a substantial distance. I would often ask where he was going just in case he didn't come home as planned. He wasn't training for anything in particular but he always felt the need to go to the gym and smash himself. He would come home dripping in sweat and stinking, then leave the gear he'd worn in the laundry sink for a couple of days for the smell to mature until I gave in and threw it in the wash.

We had never spoken of organ donation for him. I was always keen, "If I can't use it and someone else can, please Hon, make the right decision," I would say. I had signed up on the organ donation register but he hadn't. He didn't think there was any need.

Damo had attended an armed hold-up at a Tavern, and being the cop he was, was the first one in. Unfortunately the offender had a shotgun that he wasn't afraid to use, not even on a cop. Damo didn't stand a chance. He died at the scene but was revived by his heroic partner. He came back because his heart was so strong and I believe, because we didn't have a chance to say good-bye. Due to the nature of our job, we hadn't seen each other for nearly two days. This wasn't uncommon, just how it worked out.

Damo and I always went to work with the unspoken promise that we would come home to each other and the kids. Getting shot is always a risk of the job but we never spoke about it, it was always someone else's family on the news having to deal with the aftermath of a "job" gone wrong.

When I was told how bad Damian's injuries were, the first thing I thought of was organ donation. Damo was so fit and healthy, I thought it would be a waste if he died in vain. That's why the decision to donate his organs was so easy. I thought if I could give someone else a chance at a full life then at least something good has come from this. I know that the recipients of these organs will be able to live a full and healthy life, and perhaps even "have it all".

Sonya