SECOND CHANCE: Kidney transplant recipient Michelle Halpin with organ donation specialist nurse Karen Jenner. Picture: Mike Knott.
SECOND CHANCE: Kidney transplant recipient Michelle Halpin with organ donation specialist nurse Karen Jenner. Picture: Mike Knott.

Service to remember greatest gift

SOCIAL distancing requirements may have caused many event cancellations, but one special service will go ahead this weekend, to remember those who have given the greatest gift of all … life.

DonateLife will hold the annual Service of Remembrance event in an online broadcast on Facebook, to remember organ and tissue donors and their families.

SECOND CHANCE: Kidney transplant recipient Michelle Halpin with organ donation specialist nurse Karen Jenner. Picture: Mike Knott.
SECOND CHANCE: Kidney transplant recipient Michelle Halpin with organ donation specialist nurse Karen Jenner. Picture: Mike Knott.

Bundaberg Hospital organ donation specialist nurse co-ordinator Karen Jenner said the purpose of the virtual event is to come together as a community to recognise the generous gift of life and remember the loved ones lost in the process.

“The virtual Service of Remembrance is for anyone who has had someone in their family, or a friend, pass away and donate their organs at the time of their death,” Ms Jenner said.

“It’s an opportunity to honour their family member or friend who gave this lifesaving gift and to come together with others who have had similar experiences.

“The virtual Service of Remembrance is also for recipients and their families who wish to acknowledge the gift they have been given through the donation or an organ or tissue.”

SAVE A LIFE: Karen Jenner with grateful heart transplant recipients and Bundy locals, Jeffrey Kirkman and Bev Cooke. Picture: Rhylea Millar.
SAVE A LIFE: Karen Jenner with grateful heart transplant recipients and Bundy locals, Jeffrey Kirkman and Bev Cooke. Picture: Rhylea Millar.

With less than one third of Queenslanders currently listed as donors on the Australian Organ Donor Register and with just two per cent of people able to donate their organs, the event also aims to raise awareness for the cause and encourage families to have the important conversation.

“It’s vital to discuss your decision to donate because we know 90 per cent of families agree to the donation when their loved one is a registered donor,” Ms Jenner said.

“The family is very much involved in the journey, giving their consent, so the service not only remembers their loved one but also enables us to thank these families for consenting to donation and giving this gift to a recipient.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the Service of Remembrance online and can do so by visiting facebook.com/DonateLifeAustralia/ on Saturday, May 30, at 3pm.

For more information or to register as an organ donor, visit donatelife.gov.au.