Michael - tissue recipient, QLD
Born with a heart condition, Michael knows all about the amazing gift that is tissue donation. Michael has now received three life-saving heart-valve transplants, one at birth, one at age 11 and then again at age 39.
Because of the generosity of tissue donors, Michael is now well and medication free.
His wife Tracy, who is also the Aunty of young eye tissue donor Kelcey, tells their story.
“Waiting for that phone call for life-saving heart surgery was one of true agony and yet a reflection I was not prepared for,” Tracy said.
“My husband was only 39, our daughter only two, when he needed a new heart-valve. The utter chaos that arose from getting him to surgery and becoming his full-time carer, was nothing compared to the gift he had been given.
“My thoughts were with the family that had just had their world turned upside down and had made that selfless gift to someone else's family at their most difficult time. The feelings of deep gratitude yet quiet elation and knowing that pain all too well.”
Tracy and Michael have experienced both sides of donation and transplantation with Tracy’s 5-year-old niece Kelcey passing away and donating her corneas.
“The highs of donated tissue being available and the lows of losing your whole world but knowing that their gift can save other lives, is truly the best gift of all,” Tracy said.
“We are grateful every day for donors and their families. Thank you hardly seems enough. I urge you to become a donor, talk to your loved ones about your wishes and embrace the difference you can make to someone else's life.”