DonateLife Thank You Day to honour donors and their families
Today the hundreds of Australians who save or transform lives every year through organ and tissue donation will be acknowledged during DonateLife Thank You Day.
“DonateLife SA greatly appreciates the contribution of everyone who becomes an organ and tissue donor and all families who uphold their loved one’s decision to donate,” said Dr Stewart Moodie, DonateLife SA State Medical Director.
Already this year 38 South Australians have provided life-saving transplants for 99 people and 84 donors have provided corneal tissue to help restore sight.
At the end of October, a record 1,161 Australians and their families benefited from an organ transplant through the generosity of 409 deceased organ donors and their families.
203 living organ donors provided kidney or partial liver donations, and thousands more became tissue donors.
“DonateLife Thank You Day provides an opportunity for transplant recipients to write and thank their donor families,” said Dr Moodie.
“We know that donor families find comfort in knowing that their loved one’s organs are helping recipients recover and live productive lives.
“I urge all South Australians to show their appreciation to the generous donors and their families who selflessly provide the ultimate gift to save the life of another.
“Please register your donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register.
“This leaves your family in no doubt about your decision and makes it easier for them to uphold that decision at a very traumatic time,” said Dr Moodie.
South Australians can show their thanks by posting messages on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtags #ThankYouDay #DonateLife.
DonateLife Thank You Day is held annually on the third Sunday in November.
Nearly 900,000 or two-thirds of South Australians over the age of 16 are on the Australian Organ Donor Register.
Around 1,400 Australians and their families are waiting for a transplant wth a further 12,000 people on dialysis.
Sixty-five per cent of Australians have discussed organ donation with their family and 69 per cent are willing to donate but only 33 per cent of adults nationwide have joined the Register.
Australia-wide last year, organ donation proceeded in 91 per cent of cases where the deceased was a registered donor.
Organ donation drops to just 52 per cent if the deceased was not registered and the family had no prior knowledge of their wishes.
Transplant recipients can express their appreciation by writing to the family of their donor via their transplant unit. Such correspondence is de-identified then provided to the donor family by DonateLife.
South Australians are urged to join the Australian Organ Donor Register at www.donorregister.gov.au, and then share the decision with family and loved ones.
DonateLife SA is holding its annual Rose Planting Ceremony to honour South Australia’s donors and their families at the Gift of Life Garden from 10.00am in Bonython Park today.
This will be followed by the Donor Families Australia – SA barbeque to mark DonateLife Thank You Day.