My son was a donor
Justin’s mum Jackie shares her story:
Justin was a proud father of three boys. He enjoyed photography, computers and the simple things in life, like going to the park with his sons.
He enjoyed his job and was proud of his workmates and their new medical technology. He was an intelligent, perceptive person who was also very caring and hospitable.
In the five years prior to his death, he had survived earthquakes, a heart attack, looming redundancy and other difficulties, while remaining supportive of others.
His life was improving dramatically and he was very happy in the months before he had the first headache. The headaches became severe over a few days, and he took anti-inflammatories and went to bed.
On that awful morning he got ready for work and then tried to ring an ambulance because he had lost the use of his right arm and couldn’t speak.
It turned out Justin had had a large intracranial haemorrhage and was put on a ventilator, but it became clear he was ‘braindead’. By this time family and close friends – after discussing how caring and giving he was - decided to say yes to organ donation, and were ready to answer this question when it was asked the following day.
Phone calls were made and a man that would not have survived without receiving a new liver - received the gift of life from someone who would have cared.
It was one positive outcome from such a hideously traumatic event.
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