Jodi - Donation Specialist Nurse

Woman in a white shirt and blue blazer is standing in a bright hospital setting. She has a blonde bob and is smiling at the camera.

‘I’ll never forget this message I received from a parent of a donor child one day: “Her heart is so full of life and love - she needs to share it”.’ 

- Jodi

As told by Jodi, DonateLife New South Wales 

Some songs, like ‘Rock a Bye your Bear’ by the Wiggles, will always remind me of a beautiful child I met in the hospital and the love they left to the world.

As a DonateLife Donation Specialist Nurse for Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, I support families throughout the organ and tissue donation process. Although I cannot change what has happened to that family, I hope to empower them to make decisions that are meaningful for them.

Part of my job involves helping with family requests ranging from playing favourite songs, holding special toys, having pets visit, organising spiritual support, or sitting with families and sharing stories. My job may provide a tiny glimmer of light during such a difficult time.

No one day is ever the same in this role. Sometimes I’ll be on the hospital floor, providing support and comfort to families considering organ and tissue donation, and facilitating that process. On other days, I’m providing education and raising public awareness. It’s a job that can be diverse and demanding, and I couldn’t do it without the support surrounding me.

I’m part of a team that cares deeply for our patients. We all feel such a collective sense of loss and heartbreak when families leave the hospital without their child. It’s important to talk about this as a team, and tears are often shed when we reflect on our experiences together.

When I speak to families about organ donation, they often don’t know what their child would have wanted. Sometimes, parents will share stories and reflect on the generous, loving nature of their child, and make a decision based on those cherished memories.

That’s why it's always important to register your wishes and talk to your family about organ donation. At a time when your family may be overwhelmed with grief, knowing what their loved one would have wanted helps to make that decision at such a devastating time. Those conversations can help save a life.

It is an absolute privilege to support these courageous parents and facilitate something so precious. They are giving hope, life, and love to another family, freely without expectation. To save another’s life is truly inspiring and remarkable. 

I have reconnected with some families over the years, at the DonateLife Service of Remembrance. This annual event is a time for me to reflect on these children, and their families who have chosen to give another family a future together.

We will often share stories and remember their beautiful child together. I’ll never forget this message I received from a parent about their child: “Her heart is so full of life and love - she needs to share it.”

Inspired by Jodi's story?