The girl who saved seven lives

Written By komlim puldel on Senin, 01 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Last year we saw the highest number of organ donors and recipients in Australia since records began, but sadly that figure is still shockingly low

Raising awareness...Allan and Kim Turner whose daughter's organ donations helped seven others. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Limited

Allan Turner and wife Kim (with a photo of daughter Zaidee) whose organ donations helped seven others. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Limited

WHEN she died, seven year old Zaidee Turner helped save or improve the lives of seven people through organ donation. But a decade after her gift, many still die waiting.

Many of the 50 children waiting for a transplant will die in the next 12 months because of a shortage of organ/tissue donations.

Despite improvement, Australia's organ donation rates are lower than many European countries and we rank 17th in the world.

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Transplant Australia has been lobbying to make organ donation Australia an opt out choice as in many European nations where donation rates are higher.

Low...Australia's organ donation rates are lower than many European countries. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

In 2013, 391 organ donors gave 1,122 Australians a new chance in life as the number of organ donors and transplant recipients in 2013 rose to the highest level since national records began.

However, there are still around 1500 Australians waiting for the life changing gift of a donated organ.

Zaidee's father Allan is using the ten year anniversary of his daughter's sudden death from a brain aneurism to make a plea for more Australians to register to donate their organs.

The family set up Zaidee's Rainbow Foundation after her death to promote organ donation.

Allan Turner says people must talk to their families about their donation wishes because only half of all Australians know about the donation wishes of their loved ones.

Four in ten families refuse to give consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed.

Many people do not realise that simply registering to donate an organ is not enough because their relatives must also give their consent to the donation once the person has died.

And many are also unaware that rules have change in some states.

Zaidee Turner's organ donations helped save or improve the lives of seven others. Picture supplied. Source: News Limited

Drivers in South Australia wanting to donate organs in the event of an accident can flag their preference on their drivers licence.

But in Victoria and NSW, drivers licence registration is not enough, with government website registration also required.

Zaidee was a chatterbox and a rascal with boundless energy before she suddenly collapsed screaming one night from a brain aneurism that took her life.

She gave part of her liver to an eight year old girl, a mother in her 40s received both Zaidee's kidneys, two children received a cornea each from Zaidee, a newborn baby received Zaidee's heart valve, another baby received a heart patch from Zaidee.

"For Kim and I it gave us comfort, extreme satisfaction that through death someone else gained life and a better life," Zaidee's dad Allan says.

On average people can be on the transplant waiting lists anywhere from six months to four years

Many of the people on the current waiting list will die before they receive a transplant.

Allan Turner says only one per cent of the 150,000 people who die each year are in a situation to become an organ donor but fewer than one per cent donate.

"We should be seeing double the donation rate we do now and the waiting lists could be just 20 or 30 people," Mr Turner says.


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