Sydney kids ask NSW families to register to save lives in DonateLife Week

Two courageous nine year olds today asked New South Wales families to join the Australian Organ Donor Register online during DonateLife Week to help end the wait for those in need of a life-saving transplant.

Kyla Devine’s life was saved at the age of just four months when she received a liver transplant because of another family’s generosity. Today Kyla, aged nine, lives an active life and will participate in her first Australian Transplant Games, being held from 24 September to 1 October in Western Sydney.

Naisha Udania’s seven year old brother Deyaan became India’s youngest multi-organ donor after he tragically suffered a brain haemorrhage during a family holiday overseas. The Quakers Hill Public student had learned about organ donation at school, and had told his parents that he wanted to become a donor. The decision to honour Deyaan’s final wish saved the lives of four people.

As part of today’s state launch of DonateLife Week Kyla, Naisha and their families joined with the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service and the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District to encourage more people to join the Australian Organ Donor Register, asking ‘What are you waiting for?’.

“The key reasons people give for not registering is not having had time or being unsure about how to register. That’s why DonateLife Week (31 July – 7 August) is a great opportunity to make the time,” said Dr Elena Cavazzoni, State Medical Director of the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service.

Dr Cavazzoni said it was easy to register online at donatelife.gov.au, which provides a simple way for people to self-select their preferred method of registration.

“Forty per cent of NSW residents are on the Australian Organ Donor Register, despite the majority (78%) regarding registration as important,” said Dr Cavazzoni.

“Young people in particular are encouraged to register their donation decision during DonateLife Week, with just three percent of 18-24 year old NSW residents having joined the Register,” said Dr Cavazzoni.

Dr Cavazzoni said nine in ten families agreed to organ donation where their loved one was a registered donor. This drops to just five in ten where the deceased was not registered and the family had no prior knowledge.

“So far this year (to 30 June 2016) 183 people have received a life-saving transplant through the generosity of 63 deceased organ donors and their families in NSW,” said Dr Cavazzoni. This follows the historic high record achieved in NSW in 2015 enabling 355 people to receive life-saving transplants.

“More than 1,500 Australians on the transplant waiting list at any one time, there is still much to be done to ensure our donation and transplantation rates continue to grow – and this includes increasing the number of Australians on the donor register,” Dr Cavazzoni said.

NSW residents can no longer register a donation decision on their driver’s licence. People who previously registered via a driver’s licence are encouraged to check that their details on the Register are current by contacting Medicare on 1800 777 203 or by Email AODR@medicareaustralia.gov.au.

To find out how to register online or for more information about organ and tissue donation, visit donatelife.gov.au.

To encourage more Australians to join the Register online, a new video, ‘What are you waiting for?’ has been launched as part of DonateLife Week.  To access the campaign video and images, visit http://www.donatelife.gov.au/donatelife-week-2016-media 

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