The Western NSW Local Health Network is urging the community to talk about organ and tissue donation in DonateLife Week (February 20-27) so loved ones know if you wish to give the gift of life.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Kathryn Ainsworth said any day is a good day to start a family discussion about becoming a donor.
“We are starting to see more donors and more people receiving organ transplants in NSW, but we can improve organ donation rates if people make known their wishes known through conversation with family and loved ones,” said Ms Ainsworth.
New South Wales made strong progress in 2010, documenting a 26% increase in organ donors and a 23% increase in people receiving transplants.
“These statistics are encouraging, but it’s important to continue a national conversation about organ and tissue donation. DonateLife Week is a perfect time to start,” said Ms Ainsworth.
“To help inspire these conversations we are asking people to contribute their stories, poems, pictures and experiences about organ and tissue donation, transplantation, and waiting for a transplant, in the DonateLife Book of Life,” said Ms Ainsworth.
“The Book of Life will travel around NSW this year. It will become part of a national collection and will be donated to the State Library of NSW and National Library during DonateLife Week next year.”
Ms Ainsworth said these stories will help share the meaning of transplantation, and how it can help a very sick person return to a normal life as an active member of the community.
“Organ and tissue donation is the most meaningful gift a person can ever give - it’s the gift of life,” said Ms Ainsworth.
“The people closest to you need to know your donation wishes because in the end they will be asked to give the final OK. Any day is a good day to discuss organ and tissue donation, so why not today.”
To find out more information about how to discuss and make decisions about organ and tissue donation, please visit www.donatelife.gov.au.
Organ and tissue donation can change lives:
- Corneas can restore sight
- Kidney transplants can take people off regular dialysis and back to a normal life without regular hospital visits
- Pancreas transplants can cure type I diabetes
- Liver, Heart and Lung transplants save lives immediately