Wife gives greatest gift

Joanna Butler was able to donate a kidney to help her husband Steve. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au d441528
Wife gives  greatest gift
Joanna Butler was able to donate a kidney to help her husband Steve. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au d441528

But one organ donor can help more than 10 people and give them a new chance at life.

Steve Butler was lucky � his wife Joanna was the perfect living donor.

Their blood types mean Mrs Butler is a universal giver and Mr Butler is a universal receiver.

Some people are not this lucky.

In 2012, Mr Butler was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome.

His kidneys failed and his life changed dramatically.

He was put on dialysis three times a week for five hours at a time.

Mr Butler had headaches, cramps, constantly felt unwell and had no energy.

�After a lot of testing and processes, almost three years to the day, our transplant went ahead in February,� he said.

�It has been almost six months since I received my new kidney from my wife.

�I can�t believe how easy it has all been and how well I felt instantly.�

Unlike most organ donors, Mrs Butler is in the unique position of seeing the result of her donation.

�Most families don�t get to see that,� she said.

�I can speak on behalf of the donors.

�Their families get thank you letters, but they don�t get to see the results.�

Mr and Mrs Butler thanked their doctors and their employees at Mandurah Toyota and Mandurah Mazda who looked after their businesses for three years.

WA ranks second-last in organ donation rates in Australia, but researchers say most Australians are willing to become donors, with 69 per cent saying they would donate their organs.

DonateLife Week 2015.

Mr and Mrs Butler are encouraging Australians to talk to their families about becoming organ donors throughout DonateLife Week 2015, beginning on August 2 and ending on August 9.

They are encouraging people to use the hash tag – #sayYESsavelives if they are discussing organ donation on social media.

Only one percent of deaths happen under the specific conditions that make a person ideal for organ donation.

Then their families must give permission for the donation to go ahead.

Talking to your family while you are alive increases the likelihood they will agree to a donation after you die.

Currently, approximately 60 per cent of families give consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed.

To become an organ donor, tell your family about your decision and register here.