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.
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.
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’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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Call DonateLife ACT on 02 6174 5625