ACROSS Australia about 1700 people are waiting for an organ transplant.
Given the 20-odd million populating the country, Dr Bill Lancashire said it would only take a small amount of residents to register as organ donors to one day close the waiting gap.
On Tuesday, August 2 Dr Lancashire and transplant recipient Graeme Borrill held an information stand at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital to support DonateLife Week.
Mr Borrill received a new liver in January 2015 after being diagnosed with a chronic liver disease.
“I sat around for five years waiting for a liver transplant. I had about 12 months left of my liver before I could receive a new one because there was such a demand for donated organs.
“I’ve heard of people going in for a transplant with 48 hours to live,” he said.
Mr Borrill said he had been a donor since the old paper licence days.
“I always look at it as the last good deed you can do is give your organs; they are no good to me once I’m gone,” he said.
Dr Lancashire said becoming an organ donor no longer involved ticking a box when renewing a drivers licence and Port Macquarie’s residents had to register online.
“It’s the ultimate community contribution and you as the donor are not going to get anything out of it at all.
“My experience is the families do get comfort out of it. No body wants to lose someone dear to them, a relative or someone they care about but it does, for the vast majority of families who consent to organ donation, provide comfort,” Dr Lancashire said.
However, families still have to consent to the agreement before organs are donated.
“Have the conversation with your family say ‘look I want to do this’ so they understand your wishes, and it really is something we should all do.”
Dr Lancashire said occasionally culture or religious beliefs change perspectives on the matter.
‘We’re not all the same. Luckily we are a diverse and multicultural community and we respect that but if you are all for organ donation then you should register,” he said.
For more information, or to register as an organ donor visit www.donatelife.gov.au