Mrs Skinner visited Westmead Hospital to launch DonateLife Week, which poses a simple question: “If you’d say yes to a life-saving transplant, have you said yes to becoming an organ and tissue donor?”
Mrs Skinner met organ recipients and donor families, including the parents of 13-year-old Nathan Gremmo, who died in April after being hit by a car near his Sydney home. His heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys and liver were donated to six recipients.
“Today we honour the memory of donors like Nathan and courageous, consenting people like the Gremmos, who made the very difficult decision to donate their young son’s organs,” she said.
“Organ donation is a very rare event – only about one per cent of deaths occur in circumstances which allow organ donation to take place.
“Discussing organ and tissue donation is difficult but it prepares our loved ones for the rare circumstance in which they will be asked to make this choice. One conversation with loved ones today could save many lives in the future.”
In NSW in 2014, 92 organ donors made 263 life-saving organ transplants possible. In 2015 (to June 30), there have been 64 organ donors, enabling over 170 transplants.
“Our 2015 target is 116 organ donors and I urge the people of NSW to join us in our bid to meet that target,” Mrs Skinner said.
As at June 30, there were 2,380,294 NSW people registered on the Australian Organ Donation Register. To register, go tohttp://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/australian-organ-donor-register
For more information on organ and tissue donation, go towww.donatelife.gov.au