So today is the official day.
31st August 2011 - the day that I join the active waiting list for a double lung transplant.
I was diagnosed with my lung disease nearly 22 years ago now, and around 10 years ago I was told that I would eventually need a lung transplant.
I guess that now is my eventually.
If you've never discussed organ donation with your family, then I hope that this post just might be a catalyst to sit down with your loved ones and have that discussion, and then join the official organ donor register via Medicare.
From the Donate Life website:
Organ & tissue donation facts
- One organ and tissue donor can save the lives of up to ten people and significantly improve the lives of dozens more.
- Australia has a world class reputation for successful transplant outcomes.
- Australia also has one of the lowest donation rates in the developed world.
- 98% of Australians agree that organ and tissue donation has the potential to save and improve lives.
- 40% of Australians do not know the donation wishes of their loved ones.
- Less than 1 in 5 Australians (only 17%) have had a memorable discussion with their loved ones about their donation wishes.
- The most important thing that helps a family's decision is their knowing the wishes of their loved one.
- Australia's family consent rate is low with less than 60% of families giving consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed.
- Around 1700 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any one time.
- On average, people on the transplant list must wait between 6 months and 4 years.
- In 2010, 309 organ donors gave 931 Australians a new chance in life.
- The number of organ donations in 2010 was the highest in any year in the past decade.
- Australia's improvement in the first full year of reforms (increased by 2.5 donors per million people) compares favourably with that achieved following other countries' reforms. UK achieved an increase of 1.5 dpmp in its first full year of reforms; and Spain, descirbed as the world leader in this sector, also achieved an increase of 2.5 dpmp.
- In 2010, the Australian population had 13.8 donors per million people. This exceeds the 2008 (12.2 dpmp), 2009 (11.3 dpmp) and the 9 year baseline average (10.2 dpmp).
- Australia's rate of cornea donation puts it in the top five countries for corneal donation rates.
- In 2008, 1096 people donated their corneas. As a result, 1696 people had their sight restored.
If you would like to learn more, please visit the Donate Life website.... and keep your fingers crossed for me!