By Tony and Carol
In order to achieve in life, work or in sport, we all need to set goals. As we try harder we can reach those goals and taste success.
Samantha's first goal was life itself. Born with a congenital liver disease, she struggled with many health issues which necessitated her having to spend much of her early years in hospital. At age six she had a liver transplant. She had a strong will and defied all odds in overcoming a post-operative viral infection resulting in life threatening pneumonia.
For about two years Samantha slowly recovered and endured the effects of anti-rejection drugs. It was during this time she developed a love of dancing and through this, strengthened her body and developed her will to succeed and excel.
She represented the Children's Hospital Camperdown in the 1990 'Channel 7 Telethon', raising much needed funds for the hospital. She also volunteered in the 'Say Yes' campaign in schools raising awareness for students to advise their family of their desire regarding organ donation.
Samantha participated in the National Transplant Games at Toowoomba in 1990 - both in running and swimming. Whilst not a strong swimmer she proved her determination to everyone present. At times barely floating, she won the hearts of all when she completed her swim, definitely last, barely able to stand, but at least she finished.
At the next Transplant Games in Bathurst she picked up a few medals in swimming and running. Her love of swimming and running continued and when invited to participate at the World Transplant Games at Homebush, she readily accepted, resulting in four gold medals.
Whilst there have been a few health problems over the ensuing years, life has been good for Sam. She has travelled extensively overseas and lived in the UK for three years as a social worker. On her return to Australia she has continued with her profession working in inner Sydney.
Sam is turning 30 and leads an active, normal life. She is still dancing and loves the beach and surfing.
As parents we celebrate her life and give thanks for the gift of a liver. We remember and thank the donor and their parents.
Tony and Carol