16 C
Byron Shire
April 15, 2024

Writing the book on organ donation

Latest News

Transgender rights

Mandy Nolan might be surprised to discover how many women of all political persuasions, feminists or not, are alarmed...

Other News

Queen at home on Country

Colony Bees, based in Mullumbimby, are pleased to advise that a native nest of the Apidae family has made home inside the hollow of an old growth tree on Bundjalung Country.

The Harvest Food Trail Returns for its 8th Year!

Northern Rivers Food’s iconic Harvest Food Trail returns for its eighth year. This delicious self-drive adventure through the heart of the Northern Rivers is happening over four days.

Prime Minister visits Beacon in Bangalow

The Anthony Albanese show came to Bangalow yesterday as the prime minister officially opened a social enterprise laundry.

Harvest Food Festival: Thursday 2 to Saturday 5 May

As part of the Northern Rivers Food Harvest Festival in May you’ll have the chance to get up close...

Sea Shepherd’s ocean protection looks to new horizons

Mention Sea Shepherd (SS) to most people, and it conjures up images of dramatic whaling boat collisions at sea.  

Has the state government responded effectively to the 2022 flood and other disasters? 

The NSW Reconstruction Authority (NSW RA) is under examination to look at how it has managed the response to the 2022 floods and other disasters.

[author]Albert Elzinga[/author]

The DonateLife Book of Life, a collection of experiences involving organ donation, was launched on Tuesday by the Northern NSW Local Health District at Tweed Heads library.

It consists of stories, poems and pictures of people involved and gives readers an insight into patients’ experiences with organ and tissue donation, transplants, the wait for a transplant and, most of all, hope.

Organ donation rates can be improved if people make their wishes known through family discussion, the book launch was told this week.

Clinical nurse specialist Mary Campbell said the failure of people to talk to their relatives and inform them of their wishes was one of the main obstacles to an increase in transplants.

Ms Campbell said less than 60 per cent of families gave consent for a donation to proceed and the only way to improve that statistic was to raise awareness and ensure people discussed the subject and made their wishes known to their families.

Ms Campbell said there was light at the end of the tunnel with a record number of transplants taking place in NSW this year and, with increased efforts to create awareness, prospects for the future were markedly rosier than in previous years.

The Book of Life will travel around NSW this year after which it will become part of a national collection and donated to the State Library of NSW and the National Library in DonateLife Week 2012.

Banora Point kidney recipient Cheryl French’s story is part of the book. Cheryl received a kidney from her partner Greg around 20 weeks ago and spoke, at the launch, of her experience.

After doctors told Cheryl she needed a transplant to survive, a number of tests ruled out her immediate family for kidney donation so her partner Greg stepped up and provided the much-needed matching kidney.

Cheryl said the transplant, at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, made an already close relationship even closer and she felt a distinct responsibility to make the best use of her partner’s generous gift.

Although Cheryl wasn’t quite ready to go back to her work as a primary school teacher and still needed to visit the hospital every two weeks, she said she felt great and hoped she would be able to return to work some time next year.

Double-lung transplant recipient Marion Walsham, also from Banora Point, said she felt a duty to look after her donated lungs and make the most of her newfound health.

Marion said she didn’t feel she had two ‘alien’ lungs inside her body and felt nothing but gratitude and concern for the donor’s family.

‘You think about them every day,’ she said.

Marion said rejection was a major concern to recipients, and patients were never truly ‘out of the woods’ as rejection could take place any time. Recipients were often forced to take medication constantly to ensure the organ was accepted and functioning.

Ms Campbell said changing the current situation by introducing the approach taken in countries such as Spain, where citizens are deemed to agree to donation unless otherwise stated, was not being considered in this country.

Previous articleRepower without subsidy
Next articleJones to be pitied

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bangalow retaining wall damage

The wall supporting the western end of Deacon Street has failed – opposite the Roman Catholic Church. Fortunately, this type of wall usually collapses...

We wonder why

Living in Byron Shire the majority of people continue to ask why is this organisation continuously letting this community down as far as representing...

Aid workers killed

I along with the Israeli and Jewish community in general mourn with the rest of the world for the tragic loss of the seven...

Rains, drains, floods

The ABC news and Guardian recently published reports of the potential return of La Niña in 2024 bringing similar rain to 2022. We just experienced...