A remarkable man’s legacy of organ donation | Get Healthy Stay Healthy

A remarkable man’s legacy of organ donation

Published on Nov 06, 2019
Authored by Philippa Delahoy
Scott prior to contracting swine flu, wearing a black shirt with small white polka dots, standing at a lookout with a waterfall and cliffs in the background

My story is about my wonderful husband, Scott. Scott was a fit and healthy 44-year old who loved to travel, enjoyed good food, great coffee and even better wine and he was living life to the full.

Scott and I visited my family for Christmas in the UK and unfortunately, during our holiday things took a turn for the worse. At that time, swine flu was rife in the UK and Scott contracted this deadly flu at the end of our trip.

We travelled home to Sydney, but during the flight, Scott’s condition worsened. When we landed, we went straight to the hospital emergency department. Scott was immediately admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) and was put in a drug-induced coma. He was placed on a lung bypass, due to the severity of his disease.

Scott stayed in a drug-induced coma for nearly two weeks. His doctors and I were hopeful for his recovery, albeit slow. But that was not our journey. Devastatingly, Scott suffered a massive brain haemorrhage that was incompatible with life; he was brain dead.

Some time ago, Scott and I had had a conversation about organ donation, and I knew he wished to be an organ donor. I approached the doctors to see if this was possible…and it was. We were able to donate Scott’s kidneys to two young people, freeing them from a lifetime of dialysis.

Our families have received letters from both transplant recipients who express their heartfelt gratitude with how life-changing Scott’s kidneys have been—a remarkable legacy to a remarkable man!

On a lighter note, Scott was a huge sci-fi fan and I think he’d be amused by the idea of his organs living on long after him.

My Advice to Others

Firstly, please don’t underestimate the severity of flu, it isn’t a bad cold, so be informed and if it’s right for you, have your annual flu vaccination.

Secondly, I’d like to encourage everyone to have a conversation with their families about organ donation. If you don’t know your loved ones wishes, ask them, and make sure to register your decision with your country’s organ donation authority.

Less than 1% of people pass away in a situation where organ donation is possible – every donated organ is rare and precious.

Living a Life for Two

My story doesn’t stop at the point of Scott’s organ donation and since that time, I’ve become a passionate advocate for organ donation. I’ve been embraced by the wonderful community of donor families and transplant recipients; their stories continue to amaze and inspire me whenever I have an opportunity to meet them.

I’ve had the privilege to share Scott’s story with the talented and dedicated surgeons and nurses involved in organ donation, I’ve shared Scott’s story in the media, I’ve met with the Governor General of Australia (the Queen’s representative in Australia) and I’ve even spoken about Scott’s organ donation on the steps of the Sydney Opera House at the launch of Australia’s DonateLife week; I think Scott would be pretty impressed by that!

Scott is missed every day and loved beyond life, but I’m determined to live a life full of love and laughter for both of us.

References

  • 1. For students. DonateLife. Accessed September 30, 2019.
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