Donate Life column by Jill Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick with his aunty.

Joe Fitzpatrick with his aunty.

This August marks the 10 year milestone for liver transplant recipient Joe Fitzpatrick.  

When Joe was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition, Wilson’s Disease, which compromised his liver’s capacity to process copper he was critically ill.

Within a week of his diagnosis Joe received a partial liver transplant from his paternal aunty in Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Liver transplants are possible through living donors by harvesting the donor’s left liver lobe. The donor’s liver regenerates and the transplanted portion grows in the recipient’s body.

Living organ donation comes with risks to the donor. Joe was incredibly fortunate to receive his gift of life from a living donor as a last resort.

During DonateLife Week (30 July – 6 August 2017) Transplant Australia encourages all Australians to consider the lives of the 1,400 people waiting for an urgent lifesaving transplant and register as an organ and tissue donor by joining the Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR).

Thanks to a new registration process, it is now faster and easier than ever to register your donation decision.

Use your mobile phone, tablet or computer and visit donatelife.gov.au where you can register in just minutes.

Registering your donation decision is important because it leaves your family in no doubt of your decision to save lives as an organ and tissue donor.

Registration counts, with 9 in 10 families agreeing to donation proceeding when their loved one is a registered donor.

Once you’ve registered your donation decision, share your decision with family and friends and encourage others to register to save lives today.

The majority of Western Australians (94 per cent) are confident their partner or family members would uphold their donation decision in the event of their death, yet only 53 per cent have discussed the topic of organ donation with their families.

Not having thought about registering and seeing it as an unpleasant topic to discuss were the key reasons Western Australians had not registered their donation decision.

Even if you previously registered your decision via your West Australian driver’s license, you need to register your decision on the national register (AODR). During DonateLife Week, all Western Australians are urged to make their decision count, by registering their donation decision and discussing their decision with their loved ones.

Visit donatelife.gov.au today to register online.

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