As Brent lay in a coma our family travelled from across the country to say their goodbyes, but Brent was to have another chance. The tragic end of one life gave him a new beginning when he received a donor liver - just in time.
Unlike most children who need transplants, Brent developed rare hepatitis very rapidly and without warning, which meant we and the hospital staff had to swing into action quickly. To find a suitable liver within 24 - 48 hours. This required a miracle and luckily - it happened.
Fast forward 15 years and Brent is now 18, has just finished secondary school and is contemplating his tertiary options. In the years leading up to now he has been predominantly fit and healthy. He has achieved academic success and enjoyed playing football in junior ranks, culminating in captaining under 14's into the finals. Unfortunately his smaller body and enlarged spleen made it too dangerous to continue against bigger bodies that had not been subjected to years of anti-rejection medication.
His childhood fascination with the Wiggles gave way to a love of the Beatles and in particular John Lennon. Brent has now taken up playing piano and wearing round sunglasses!
Brent's biggest adventure since his liver transplant was a snow skiing trip to Switzerland with other transplant kids from around the world - a trip he made without his mum and dad. His biggest concern about going to a foreign country alone was 'what do they eat over there?'.
Brent is a passionate member of the Richmond Football Club and attends games whenever possible, travelling to Melbourne on the train with his mates; a far cry from the very sick little boy with little or no chance of survival as I (his father) was told one dark, cold night.
None of this would have been possible without the gift of life given to Brent by a total stranger, someone that we have never known or ever forgotten.
Allan (Brent's father)