DonateLife Week began and Donna Contor said it’s the perfect time to talk to your loved ones about your wishes regarding organ donation. Last year there were 14.6 donors per million people in Queensland.
DonateLife Week began and Donna Contor said it’s the perfect time to talk to your loved ones about your wishes regarding organ donation. Last year there were 14.6 donors per million people in Queensland. Peter Holt

Be prepared for tough decisions

DO you know what your loved ones' wishes are when it comes to organ donation?

A single eye, organ or tissue donor can enhance the lives of up to 10 people and in many cases the gesture can save a life.

DonateLife Week was launched yesterday and Mackay Base Hospital organ and tissue donation clinical nurse consultant Donna Contor said a huge emphasis this year was on having that hard discussion with your loved ones.

"Because it is a traumatic, emotional time... if they're not sure what their loved ones wishes were, then it makes that decision a bit more harder for them," she said.

Ms Contor is the rock families in the region lean on when this decision has to be made.

She worked in intensive care for 17 years and joined DonateLife, when it began in 2009.

"In Queensland last year we had a 30% rise in our organ donation rates," she said, adding that a number of those came from Mackay.

"It often helps the families get through losing a loved one."

There are about 1700 hundred people on the donor list at any one time and up to 50 of those could be children, Ms Contor said.

Organ donation is only medically possible in about 1% of deaths, however, many more people are able to be tissue donors.

Statistically one to two people a week may die waiting for an organ donation.

"That's the heartbreaking thing.

"You can be at the top of the list. You can be on an urgent list and the next donor may not be a good match for you," Ms Contor said.

 

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