DOUBLE lung transplant recipient and Guildford resident Ceri Ovans has teamed up with Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt to promote this year’s Donate Life Thank You day, held on Sunday.
Born with Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that affects the lungs and digestive system, the 29-year-old was in desperate need of a transplant to survive.
“I have always been a very active person – I love to cycle, row and run – but it had got to the stage where my lung capacity was so bad I couldn’t do any of these things anymore,” she said.
“The doctors had said to me that unless I had a double lung transplant I wouldn’t survive another two years.”
In August, after a series of tests, Mrs Ovans was fortunate enough to be matched to a donor and underwent a double lung transplant.
“I was given such an incredible, selfless gift and for that I will be eternally grateful,” she said.
“I want to say thank you to my donor and their family, and to all the families in Australia whose generosity saves and transforms lives.”
Mrs Ovans is one of the lucky ones.
About 1400 Australians are currently waiting for a life-saving transplant, and a further 12,000 people are on dialysis.
Mr Wyatt said DonateLife Thank You Day highlighted how important organ and tissue donation was, changing the lives of both transplant recipients, their families and the community.
“We all have the potential to save lives as a donor or may one day need a transplant to save our life or that of someone we love,” he said.
“We must recognise those who are willing to give the ultimate gift.
“At the end of October, a record 1161 Australians and their families benefited from a life-saving transplant through the generosity of 409 deceased organ donors and their families, and a further 203 living donors have saved lives through live kidney or partial liver donation, with thousands more becoming tissue donors.”
Mr Wyatt also said it was a timely reminder for people to discuss organ donation with their families.
“I encourage every Australian to take part in DonateLife Thank You Day,” he said.
“You can show your thanks simply by posting a #ThankYouDay message on social media to all living and deceased donors and their families, and consider joining the Australian Organ Donor Register to one day save lives.
“For those that have received a transplant, DonateLife Thank You Day provides an opportunity to write to your donor family through the formal channels available.
“We know that receiving letters from those whose lives were saved or improved brings great comfort to donor families.”
For more information about how to get involved in DonateLife Thank You Day, visit donatelife.gov.au.