21.9 C
Byron Shire
April 10, 2021

Tanith’s transformation proves the power of organ donation

Latest News

A win for the roughy

The battle for the 'roughy had been a tough road for conservationists and hopefully this win will be the last fight.

Other News

Another greyhound death in Casino

Another racing greyhound, Slim Pickings, has died at Casino. This is the third racing greyhound death in the Northern Rivers so far this year, and the second in Casino, putting a renewed spotlight on greyhound welfare.

COVID testing encouraged in the NNSWLHD

On Easter Sunday afternoon the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) has thanked the community for coming forward in large numbers for COVID-19 testing, with more than 10,000 tests conducted in the region in the past week.

Murwillumbah Arts Trail coming in May

The sixth Murwillumbah Arts Trail is all set for the weekend of 29-30 May 2021. From its beginnings in 2015, the arts trail has grown to be a major festival for the visual arts, as well as a vibrant community event.

Wooing the discerning gin drinker with Husk Botanic

Husk founder, Paul Messenger, introduces his new Husk Botanic – a fresh cane spirit, designed to be mixed with...

Council crews working hard to repair potholes

Tweed Shire Council road maintenance crews are out across the Tweed's road network repairing potholes and other damage caused by the recent prolonged rainfall and previous flood events.

Take a ticket

Council’s Draft Complaint Handling Policy is on exhibition! It’s a document that, if drafted carefully, could provide the public with confidence that Council take complaints seriously and accountability will apply when a complaint is found to be true.

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”.’


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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Maybe Canberra needs a bit of distraction biff

Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.

Council crews working hard to repair potholes

Tweed Shire Council road maintenance crews are out across the Tweed's road network repairing potholes and other damage caused by the recent prolonged rainfall and previous flood events.

Poor Pauline

Bob Vinnicombe, Sefton A lot of hypocrisy from Labor and The Greens about respect for women. Look at the treatment they dished out to Pauline...

New film celebrates getting back outside

'Free From Lockdown: Back Out in Nature' is a new short film in which a group of disabled and non-disabled performers from the Northern Rivers celebrate being in nature after COVID lockdown.