Today is Jersey Day 2018, a day to raise awareness of the importance of giving the priceless gift of life.
It’s a day when Australians everywhere are wearing their favourite sports jerseys – at home, at school and at work – to show support for organ and tissue donation.
The day has particular significance for Deakin Tran, an 11-year-old Perth boy, and his family, who are this year celebrating a decade since a liver transplant saved his life, when he was just 12 months old.
“It’s nice to save a life because it gives people a second chance to live,” Deakin said.
The Minister responsible for the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority, Ken Wyatt AM, said Jersey Day was established to honour the memory of 13-year-old organ donor Nathan Gremmo, who lost his life in a car accident in 2015.
“Nathan’s selfless act and his family’s generosity of spirit saved the lives of six people. That’s the power of the gift of life,” Minister Wyatt said.
Deakin fought a rare liver condition from the day he was born. As his condition deteriorated, he was placed on the national liver transplant waiting list.
Eight months later, his parents received a lifesaving call from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and immediately flew with Deakin to Sydney.
“Getting the call was exciting but still quite sad because we realised that someone else had passed away,” Deakin’s mother, Brooke, said.
“But you understand that their family had the courage to push through that grief and ensure their organs were donated, which is very honourable.”
Ten years on, Deakin is healthy and looking forward to the 2018 Transplant Games on the Gold Coast next month, where he will compete in tennis, swimming and other sports.
With 1400 Australians currently waitlisted for lifesaving transplants and a further 11,000 on renal dialysis, Minster Wyatt said Jersey Day was an important day to raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.
“Think about making your decision count by joining the Australian Organ Donor Register and telling your loved ones you want to be a donor,” Minister Wyatt said.
“You can register online in less than a minute at the DonateLife website – all you need is your Medicare Card number.
“Remember Nathan’s and Deakin’s stories and register to give the gift of life.”
Media contact: Ben Houston, Media Adviser 0423 191 945
Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.