Everyday Heroes

Many people will remember Tom Jackson as the brave man who died trying to save Mia Ayliffe-Chung from a frenzied knife attack in a Townsville backpacker’s. While Tom may not have been able to save Mia, his decision to donate his organs will save up to eight lives. In Australia, at least one person dies each week waiting for an organ donation, and there are about 1,500 people on the transplant waiting list of which about fifty are children.

Brett Bullock, founder and president of Save Lives Donate Organs (SLDO), says that he wants more recognition for organ donors as ‘Everyday Heroes’.

“I suffered chronic renal failure in my early 20s and suddenly found myself in a position I never imagined I would be in. It’s a terrible thought that you are waiting for someone to pass away in order for your life to be saved, but that person is forever your hero because they have given you a second chance,” he said.

Brett founded SLDO in 2013 with the aim to increase Australian donor numbers to and provide financial support for transplant recipients.  “Many people do not realise it’s an expensive process.”

Brett wants the community to talk with their loved ones about their wishes, as it’s a conversation which may well save lives one day.  Only about 53% of people know whether their loved ones want to donate their organs.

If organ donation is something you’re in favour of, you should make sure your family is aware of your wishes and register as a donor to confirm your consent (donorregister.gov.au).

Despite the tragic circumstances leading to his death, as an organ donor Tom’s heroism extends well beyond his brave efforts to shield Mia from her attacker.  You too, can be an Everyday Hero.

More information about SLDO and Brett’s story can be found here sldo.com.au.

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