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Kyall Green’s Story

By Jazz - 22 November 2013 15

A mother and father should not have to bury their son but this is what David and Jackie Green were faced with when their beloved 22 year old son Kyall died in a car accident earlier this year.
A few months before Kyall died, he had talked to his parents about wanting to help others by being an organ donor. Kyall got his wish.

kyall

The organ and tissue donation opportunity

To save the lives of others through organ donation is a rare opportunity. Did you know that only 1% of the Australian population will die in a way that enables organ donation to occur? You must be a patient in Intensive Care or an Emergency Department for organ donation to be an option. In the Green family’s overwhelming tragedy, they had this rare opportunity. David and Jackie knew their son’s organ and tissue donation decision and the whole family had no hesitation in respecting Kyall’s wish.

Donation Specialist Nurses from DonateLife ACT discussed organ and tissue donation with Kyall’s family and then coordinated the multi-state retrieval process. Throughout the donation process a Donation Specialist Nurse was constantly with Kyall and his family. Canberra Hospital Intensive Care doctors and nurses provided Kyall and his family with respect, dignity and the best care available.

About DonateLife

The DonateLife network comprises 255 organ donation specialists in 72 hospitals around Australia. All DonateLife staff have received international best practice training over the last 18 months to improve expertise in end of life care and in conduct of family donation conversations. In total over 600 health professionals in Australian hospitals have been trained to ensure trained requesters support families when raising organ donation. This training program has been developed with world leading experts from the Gift of Life Institute, Philadelphia and by specialist Australian trainers.

Family Donation Conversation training equips health professionals with the skills to best provide information to families about the opportunity of donating their relative’s organs and tissues. Families faced with the opportunity for organ and tissue donation are dealing with acute and overwhelming grief. It is important to ensure they have time to understand this information so that they can make an enduring organ and tissue donation decision. When a family knows their loved one’s donation decision, honouring that wish and consenting to organ and tissue donation can provide comfort during their grief.

About DonateLife ACT

DonateLife ACT is the organ and tissue donation service for the ACT and surrounding areas. All DonateLife ACT Medical Staff and Donation Specialist Nurses have received Family Donation Conversation training. Most DonateLife ACT Donation Specialist Nurses have also completed one or more International Graduate Diplomas in Organ Donation and/or Tissue Banking.

DonateLife ACT currently provides organ and eye tissue donation services for the ACT and surrounding areas. DonateLife ACT is in the process of expanding their tissue retrieval service to include bone, skin and heart valves. Community support for the service DonateLife ACT provides can be as simple as buying a ticket to the DonateLife ACT ‘Light for life’ Ball. Proceeds from this fundraiser will help us raise awareness and expand our organ and tissue donation service.

Kyall Green
Kyall Green 23rd birthday grave

Kyall’s family says that Kyall was full of life and always had a smile across his face. He lit up a room with his enthusiasm, optimism and infectious friendly nature. Kyall’s life has been a full one given the short 22 years he was on this earth. Kyall loved to travel and read and the title of his personal book of life was ‘Keep Calm and Party Hard’ in bold letters!

Kyall left behind many close friends. They came from his family, school, football team, work and social life. Kyall’s family did not realise just how many lives he had impacted until his funeral where over 1000 family and friends attended to say goodbye. On 6 September 2013 the Green family celebrated Kyall’s 23rd birthday at his gravesite. 60 of his family and close friends were there to have a quiet drink, eat birthday cake and release green balloons in his memory.

Kyall Green gave the gift of life to eight people. The Green family have been overwhelmed by letters of thanks and gratitude from these thankful recipients and their families. That these people live on through Kyall’s precious gifts is great comfort to the Green family. It is the Green family’s wish that people consider following Kyall’s example and register to become an organ and tissue donor. Please tell your friends and family about your organ and tissue donation decision.
Tranquilo Kyall Green

More information on organ and tissue donation:
• To buy a ticket to the DonateLife ACT ‘Light for life’ Ball go to www.act.gov.au/lightforlife
• Everything you want to know about organ and tissue donation can be found on the Authority’s website: www.donatelife.gov.au
• To register your donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/australian-organ-donor-register
• Like and Share the DonateLifeToday page on Facebook
• Be a DonateLife ACT friend on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DonateLifeACT
• Email DonateLife ACT at organ.donation@act.gov.au
• Call DonateLife ACT on 02 6174 5625

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Kyall Green’s Story
IrishPete 8:39 pm 27 Nov 13

eatthatfrog said :

IrishPete said :

I don’t think anyone has proposed taking organs against the individual’s wishes. Where there is disagreement, it is whether my family should be able to over-ride my wishes. They can’t with my Will, so why with my organs?

IP

Hi IP

It’s very easy to get into philosophical arguments about it until you’ve been in the situation., which I can see you have, so I can see you’ve had a terrible choice to make yourself.

IrishPete said :

Even if you believe in a God, what kind of belief system, or what kind of God, would prevent you donating your organs? I can almost understand you not wanting to accept donated organs or blood (especially from an Atheist like me), but donation is different.

I’m more flexible than I used to be. Growing up, my best friend was a Jehovah’s Witness, and she was unable to get a kidney transplant which saved her life. My mother was also the personal nurse to a woman on in-home dialysis for three years in the early 80s before the renal unit opened up in our town.

I understand that visceral reaction to wanting it to be “opt out”, or the family not being able to override the donor’s wishes.

But, now. four years after my transplant, I’m faced with still having the thank you letter left to write to their family.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to write it yet for other reasons, but I’d find it terribly hard to write if I knew that family had tried to override the decision.

Thankfully, I am a registered organ donor (except for my corneas, which are obviously shot), so I don’t have to face that choice.

I don’t know the answer to that question.

But I do know that the very timing of organ harvesting means that families may not be in right mind, and decisions that conflict with the individual’s view may not be driven by religion etc.

This isn’t a philosophical argument, it’s a simple practical one.

Actually I wasn’t involved in the decision with my brother, but my fairly devout Catholic parents were and they stepped up to the mark and made the right decision.

I actually find it quite offensive that you put “opt out” and family’s overriding wishes, into the same sentence. They are completely different issues. I don’t think I have commented on “opt out” – I have queried people’s motivations, but not their right. (Feel free to correct me if I have forgotten something I previously wrote.)

But family overriding is a different matter. They may be very distressed, but I’m the one who is dead or brain dead and about to be completely dead. And if I am perchance hovering above in some celestial form, how effing distressed am I going to be that they failed to follow my wishes? It’s grossly selfish. And I bet many of those families will feel guilty for the rest of their lives and wish they hadn’t been given the veto.

IP

eatthatfrog 9:16 am 26 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

I don’t think anyone has proposed taking organs against the individual’s wishes. Where there is disagreement, it is whether my family should be able to over-ride my wishes. They can’t with my Will, so why with my organs?

IP

Hi IP

It’s very easy to get into philosophical arguments about it until you’ve been in the situation., which I can see you have, so I can see you’ve had a terrible choice to make yourself.

IrishPete said :

Even if you believe in a God, what kind of belief system, or what kind of God, would prevent you donating your organs? I can almost understand you not wanting to accept donated organs or blood (especially from an Atheist like me), but donation is different.

I’m more flexible than I used to be. Growing up, my best friend was a Jehovah’s Witness, and she was unable to get a kidney transplant which saved her life. My mother was also the personal nurse to a woman on in-home dialysis for three years in the early 80s before the renal unit opened up in our town.

I understand that visceral reaction to wanting it to be “opt out”, or the family not being able to override the donor’s wishes.

But, now. four years after my transplant, I’m faced with still having the thank you letter left to write to their family.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to write it yet for other reasons, but I’d find it terribly hard to write if I knew that family had tried to override the decision.

Thankfully, I am a registered organ donor (except for my corneas, which are obviously shot), so I don’t have to face that choice.

I don’t know the answer to that question.

But I do know that the very timing of organ harvesting means that families may not be in right mind, and decisions that conflict with the individual’s view may not be driven by religion etc.

IrishPete 9:52 am 25 Nov 13

eatthatfrog said :

Thankyou Kyall. Gifts like yours change and save lives

As for the other debates – it’s very, very easy to get into a philosophical argument and forget that the circumstances of organ donation are done in incredibly stressful situations and it is a terrible burden for any family to take on. I would ask others to reserve their judgement about the families and individuals who choose not to donate for whatever reason.

As an organ recipient – I received a donated cornea in 2009 in an operation that literally stopped me from legal blindness – I am incredibly grateful for the gift I received and I am doubly grateful that the family supported the donor’s decision in a time of stress and grief.

How would you feel if you learned that the organ that saved your life was taken against the individual’s or their family’s wishes?

You don’t know.

Nobody knows.

So before this becomes a three page flamewar, please have a little respect people.

And thank you again to the people like Kyall and your families. I am so honoured by the gift I received as I am sure the recipients of Kyall’s gifts are.

I don’t think anyone has proposed taking organs against the individual’s wishes. Where there is disagreement, it is whether my family should be able to over-ride my wishes. They can’t with my Will, so why with my organs?

IP

Pitchka 9:26 am 25 Nov 13

BimboGeek said :

Even tattoos and piercings may be taboo.

WoooHoOOOOOo, hell, here i come!!!!

eatthatfrog 9:22 am 25 Nov 13

Thankyou Kyall. Gifts like yours change and save lives

As for the other debates – it’s very, very easy to get into a philosophical argument and forget that the circumstances of organ donation are done in incredibly stressful situations and it is a terrible burden for any family to take on. I would ask others to reserve their judgement about the families and individuals who choose not to donate for whatever reason.

As an organ recipient – I received a donated cornea in 2009 in an operation that literally stopped me from legal blindness – I am incredibly grateful for the gift I received and I am doubly grateful that the family supported the donor’s decision in a time of stress and grief.

How would you feel if you learned that the organ that saved your life was taken against the individual’s or their family’s wishes?

You don’t know.

Nobody knows.

So before this becomes a three page flamewar, please have a little respect people.

And thank you again to the people like Kyall and your families. I am so honoured by the gift I received as I am sure the recipients of Kyall’s gifts are.

Proboscus 8:56 am 25 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

BimboGeek said :

IP Orthodox Christians and I believe most Muslims need their entire body intact to go to Heaven. Even tattoos and piercings may be taboo.

Also note that there are several versions of reincarnation, each of which gives a different explanation about how (to put it in simple familiar terms) the soul leaves the body. In my religion it takes several years, so transplantation can cause confusion where the surviving individual experiences thoughts and feelings consistent with the deceased… It might to more harm than good (although most recipients I’m aware of seem pretty well adjusted so I suspect this fear may be unfounded).

Wot no appendix or tonsils removed? Nor spleen? What about amputated limbs? Do all these bits need to be stored and reunited in the grave/crematorium? Some religious beliefs are so inconsistent and silly they are made to be ridiculed.

There are few religious people who refuse transplants – Jehovah’s Witnesses are the best known. I’ve never heard of a Muslim or a Buddhist or an Orthodox Christian (do you mean Russian and Greek? or some other meaning of Orthodox?) refusing a transplant or blood transfusion.

Maybe the JWs get more publicity because they knock on our doors. I wonder would a sign saying “I Am An Organ Donor” keep them away? Last time I was in the bath and didn’t answer the door anyway.

IP

And what about suicide bombers? They pretty much end up as a red stain. Must make sex with virgins in the afterlife impossible.

Great story about Greeny though – a lovely bloke from a lovely family.

IrishPete 2:25 am 25 Nov 13

BimboGeek said :

IP Orthodox Christians and I believe most Muslims need their entire body intact to go to Heaven. Even tattoos and piercings may be taboo.

Also note that there are several versions of reincarnation, each of which gives a different explanation about how (to put it in simple familiar terms) the soul leaves the body. In my religion it takes several years, so transplantation can cause confusion where the surviving individual experiences thoughts and feelings consistent with the deceased… It might to more harm than good (although most recipients I’m aware of seem pretty well adjusted so I suspect this fear may be unfounded).

Wot no appendix or tonsils removed? Nor spleen? What about amputated limbs? Do all these bits need to be stored and reunited in the grave/crematorium? Some religious beliefs are so inconsistent and silly they are made to be ridiculed.

There are few religious people who refuse transplants – Jehovah’s Witnesses are the best known. I’ve never heard of a Muslim or a Buddhist or an Orthodox Christian (do you mean Russian and Greek? or some other meaning of Orthodox?) refusing a transplant or blood transfusion.

Maybe the JWs get more publicity because they knock on our doors. I wonder would a sign saying “I Am An Organ Donor” keep them away? Last time I was in the bath and didn’t answer the door anyway.

IP

BimboGeek 10:37 pm 24 Nov 13

IP Orthodox Christians and I believe most Muslims need their entire body intact to go to Heaven. Even tattoos and piercings may be taboo.

Also note that there are several versions of reincarnation, each of which gives a different explanation about how (to put it in simple familiar terms) the soul leaves the body. In my religion it takes several years, so transplantation can cause confusion where the surviving individual experiences thoughts and feelings consistent with the deceased… It might to more harm than good (although most recipients I’m aware of seem pretty well adjusted so I suspect this fear may be unfounded).

IrishPete 8:56 pm 24 Nov 13

Can I choose not to have my organs donated to a Liberal or National voter? Or an ALP voter? Except my lungs of course, as I smoke a bit. Greens voters get all the good bits.

Really folks, this isn’t about someone else (like the Evel Gubbinment) owning your body, it’s about giving life, or quality of life, to someone after you are dead. Even if you believe in a God, what kind of belief system, or what kind of God, would prevent you donating your organs? I can almost understand you not wanting to accept donated organs or blood (especially from an Atheist like me), but donation is different.

My brother died young, and the circumstances of his death (drowning, body not found for about a day) meant that only his corneas could be used. Such a waste. Of a life and a death.

IP

poetix 2:15 pm 24 Nov 13

Deref said :

Organ donation should be the default – you shouldn’t have to opt in. Families should have no part in the decision other than in initial discussions with the (still living) donor.

(I’ve opted in, since that’s currently necessary.)

I totally disagree that there should be a presumption that the government owns your body, even after death. This is what the default position being changed so that it is in favour of donation would amount to. Many people are obviously choosing not to register, and that is their right.

I am registered as a donor. My husband understands that this is what I would like to happen, should I die in circumstances where I could be useful, even though I don’t think he particularly likes the idea.

BimboGeek 11:48 am 24 Nov 13

In some countries anyone with a driver’s license gets the opportunity to opt out of donation, which makes sense. If you don’t tick the box, you’ve given consent.

Some religions are against it, including mine. I haven’t made up my mind yet so it’s a tentative “no” for now but still lots of reading to do. But I’d be quite happy to be asked once in a while when my license renewal falls due whether I’m still opting out. If you don’t have a good reason then laziness shouldn’t stop you from donating.

Deref 11:43 am 24 Nov 13

Organ donation should be the default – you shouldn’t have to opt in. Families should have no part in the decision other than in initial discussions with the (still living) donor.

(I’ve opted in, since that’s currently necessary.)

Ex Warrior 10:24 pm 23 Nov 13

The most polite, well spoken kid I’d dealt with throughout 30 odd yrs with footy. RIP Greeny . Your manner was exemplary.

MWF 12:24 pm 23 Nov 13

Be sure not to die on a Sunday. In my recent experience trying to have a deceased family members tissue donated when they died on a Sunday, no-one was available to collect the tissue so it went to waste.

canberragirl82 9:32 am 23 Nov 13

This is a truly touching article and I hope it helps people to start the conversations with their loved ones about them being organ donors…

But why is it up to the families to make that final decision?

I have CHOSEN to be an organ donor. I have REGISTERED my choice with Department of Human Service (http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/australian-organ-donor-register) – So why do other people get to make the final decision on my behalf??

My family doesn’t like the idea of organ donation, (and fingers crossed they never have to), but it’s my body, my choice and therefore, I think I should have my last wishes respected in the eyes of the law. The choice that I made when I was alive, well and able to make an informed decision could easily be taken away from me by my family’s wishes. Why are their beliefs able to override mine?

Anyway – not to take away from this article at all – as I think it’s a great thing they’re doing to raise awareness. I just wish we could change the laws on this, and give people who consent to organ donation the right to have their wishes respected.

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