I will always remember Anton saying 'Mum, please don't tell people about my high distinctions, I don't care about being better than everyone else. I just want to be normal'. That was Anton. Never a boaster, always positive. He was a well educated, friendly, fun loving 22 year old with a bright future. Everyone loved being around him.
He was a lucky boy, especially lucky when he was very young. We thought we would lose him before he was one year old. He had heart surgery at seven months and many months of medication following. That surgery allowed him (and us) another 21 years of a healthy and fun-filled life.
Anton was passionate about film - from animation to documentary. He completed a degree in Film and Screen and, on a shoestring budget, set off to produce a movie on Longboard Skating. He wasn't an experienced skater but after a great day of filming he got into his skater safety clothing and helmet and tried the course. He had a freak collision at slow speed with another skater, hit his head on the concrete and never regained consciousness. He had a massive brain injury.
We were devastated. His father, brother and myself struggled to imagine life without him. As a critical care nurse I knew he would never recover from the huge brain trauma. I knew he was an ideal donor candidate. Anton had declared on facebook his support for organ donation plus we knew what he would have wanted. We saw Anton's organ donations as the only positive thing to result from his death.
Accepting death is extremely difficult for many families. When it happens to someone you love so much there is an early stage of disbelief and a wish to preserve the life that exists. Many people take a few days to accept the reality.
Every day we miss him. It is a monumental challenge to enjoy life without him. I am comforted by the thought that somebody has a chance they would never otherwise have had.