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Brett

By Judy

At the age of 16 months Brett was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the youngest in Canberra at that time.

Throughout his school days, he led a full and eventful life with many school excursions, representing his school in athletics and playing soccer, tennis, golf, cricket and squash competitively, never for a minute letting his diabetes impede his enjoyment of life.

At age 26 he had his own home, had travelled overseas four times, travelled in a 4WD and camped through inland Australia.

He was in charge of a large sports store and later joined our family business as Manager.

At the age of 29 his life changed forever when he had a stroke whilst by himself at home. He was not discovered until 12 hours later. As a consequence, he was left with permanent extensive left side DVT and his recovery to get back home took five months of rehabilitation. His eyesight was affected and he is still unable to read fine print. This is why I (his mother) am writing this on his behalf. His speech and memory were not affected. He is able to walk slowly with a stick, but uses a wheel chair for distances.

In the years that followed, he has worked with a radio station relaying events information and was a police volunteer for nine years.

Five years after his stroke, he had a heart attack and a stent was inserted into his heart. Following this his kidneys started to fail and he was then under care of the Renal Unit at the Canberra Hospital. Talk of a kidney/pancreas transplant was mentioned. Brett fought dialysis for seven years, but with rapidly failing health, commenced dialysis.

To our eternal amazement, the phone call came to say a suitable donor was available and to come to the hospital ASAP for a kidney/pancreas transplant.

All those families who have experienced this miracle would know the feelings of gratitude, sadness for the donors' family and anticipation of what these wonderful doctors were about to perform.

This dream has been fulfilled. It is now four months since the transplant. Brett is no longer on dialysis, nor after 41 years is he in need of insulin injections. His attitude has always been positive-never down-always with a joke and a laugh. Never resentful at what life has dealt him.

Having been given this wonderful gift, he hopes to go forward and experience as much as he is able. He is now 42 years old.

Thank you does not seem enough to say to the family of the donor who gave Brett the chance of a better life and as we go forward we will never forget to take time to reflect on this wonderful gift.

Judy