Organ donors needed

By NATALIE PEUTnataliep@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

NINE years ago Shane Brown was fighting for his life, waiting for an organ donor to give him the chance to live.

Recent news shows that organ donors nationally have dropped by 20 per cent, leaving thousands of people still ill and waiting for much need organs.

Shane said he was shocked to hear organ donation levels had fallen so low.

"After the big promotion of it, I thought it was improving, not dropping,'' he said.

Shane emphasised how important it was for people to register as an organ donor.

"People need to realise how important these organs are to others and how it can help give someone else a new lease on life,'' he said.

"I know this may sound horrible and donating your organs is a hard decision but just think this could one day save your mother, father, sister, brother or friends one day.''

Transplant Australia Ltd chief executive Mark Cocks said in every state there had been a major drop.

"It is so important people talk to their families about organ donations, so if the time comes they can make the right decision,'' he said.

"Everyone at some stage in their lives, whether it's them, family or their friends, will be touched by a transplant.

"It saves lives and allows other people to live a longer life.''

Mr Cocks said a huge number of life threatening illnesses could be cured with a transplant.

"I think the community needs to understand how important it is,'' he said.

"There are 1500 people needing kidney transplants, with 8000 on dialysis, there are around 500 people on waiting list for lungs and hearts.''

Mr Cocks said people needed to look at it as saving lives. "These transplants are a vital part in the future of many Australians.''

Shane agreed with Mr Cocks.

He said if it wasn't for his donor he may not have been here today.

"Transplants overcome a wide range of life threatening and debilitating illnesses including heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, blindness and leukaemia.