20.2 C
Byron Shire
July 27, 2021

Tanith’s transformation proves the power of organ donation

Latest News

With avocados, farmer fresh is best

There are many different avocado varieties, but walk around the supermarket and you might get the impression there is...

Other News

About us, without us

Many of us in the Byron Market community feel completely betrayed by the councillors who last week voted to move us again, like an unwanted jigsaw piece.

Balance

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Danny Wakil you are wrong to claim that people do not have a ‘balanced view’...

The new Wollumbin stamp that doesn’t feature Wollumbin…

When Australia Post’s new volcano series was proudly unveiled last week it included an image labelled ‘Wollumbin Mt Warning NSW’.

Onsite build of manufactured homes in South Tweed deferred

The estimated $13,800,000 manufactured home development slated for 30 Fraser Drive, Tweed Heads South was seeking to build the houses onsite rather than offsite as required by the legislation.

Artificial reefs for coastal erosion control

The building of seawalls has been the subject of a controversial court case brought against BSC in recent years. What are the other options?

COVID fragments in Byron’s sewage – have symptoms? Get tested

Do you live in Byron Bay, Wategos, Suffolk Park, Sunrise, or Broken Head? If you have any COVID symptoms or have potentially been exposed get tested.

Paul Bibby

There’s a saying in the world of organ donation: ‘donation doesn’t just save lives, it transforms them’.

And as the country gears up for Donate Life Week, it’s hard to imagine anyone who better embodies this adage than Tanith Roberts.

Prior to receiving a liver transplant in 2016, the Mullumbimby resident was in a steep downward spiral.

Local organ donnor recipient Tanith Roberts. Image Jeff Dawson

A combination of alcohol and drug addiction had taken a brutal toll on her body and mind – so much so that she attempted to end her own life.

Somewhat paradoxically, this act of despair was ultimately the catalyst for Tanith’s transformation.

The very large dose of Paracetemol she took was the final straw for her beleaguered liver, which went into total failure.

‘From the time I got into an ambulance till the time I got a new liver was 24 hours,’ Ms Roberts says. ‘I went straight to the top of the list because I was so close to dying.’

The young woman was put in a medically induced coma and flown to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.

‘When I woke up the doctor was right there telling me I’d had a liver transplant,’ she says. ‘I guess I must have been pretty out of it because I remember thinking “Okay, I’ll be home in a couple of days”.’

Rehabilitation 

Instead, that was when the hard work began.

During the course of around five weeks in hospital and months of mental and physical rehabilitation, Tanith realised that she was incredibly fortunate to be alive and that she now had a huge opportunity.

‘I realised really quickly that my story, and how I chose to tell it, could help others,’ she says.

‘I definitely feel a sense of responsibility – that I’ve been given a gift and now I want to give back.’

The 32-year-old now shares her story through public speaking engagements, social media, and mentoring, to help young people better understand drug addiction, mental health challenges, homelessness, and receiving an organ transplant.

She is also studying social welfare, and plans to work directly with young people at the coalface.

There is also a strong desire to spread the word about the power of organ donation.

‘You never know how you’re going to change someone’s life,’ she says.

‘It’s not just that individual, it’s their loved ones, their friends, and all the other people they will engage with over the rest of their lives.’

In 2018, 1,782 Australian lives were transformed by organ donations, with a further 10,500 Australians benefiting from from eye and tissue transplants.

Despite an extensive publicity campaign, many Australians are still unaware that they can no longer register as an organ donor through their driver licence and must do so online.

Donate Life Week is about inspiring people to do just that. 

‘It’s so easy to do, but it has the potential to make a massive difference,’ Tanith says. 

‘All you need is your Medicare number and five minutes to fill out the form online.’

To register, visit www.donatelife.gov.au.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Ink Gin still a winner

S Haslam Has it already been six years since I first saw a demonstration of the curious colour-changing properties of the innovative Ink Gin at...

Magnificent sporting prowess and flag pride after 2021 NAIDOC

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people also shone in the sporting arena during NAIDOC 2021. 

Independent councillor calls for online voting

A manageable and easy-to-navigate system was necessary, Cr Allsop said, one that allowed 'equal presence for all candidates'.

Byron Farmers Markets temporarily moved to make way for COVID clinic

The Byron Farmers Market is to be held opposite Elements resort on Bayshore Drive this week, while health authorities use the Cavanbah Centre for a drive-through COVID testing service.