PROBUS    “Organ Donor 10min  Talk”   06/08/21                              

 OPENING Thank you Chris and good Morning members

This Morning I would like to share with you my experience on the TPC of Vic


My interest in Organ Transplants dates back to 1998 from an middle page spread every Sunday in the Herald Sun , highlighting the recovery of 6 donor recipients and their non-existent life before their transplant . The article went on to say only. oo5 of the Australian population were registered on the potential Donor Registry and 1700 were dying every year waiting for a transplant. Having made enquiries to rectify this situation, I joined the TPC of Vic

As other states SA, NSW, Tas had Organ donor on their drivers licence, for many years  ,I offered to seek approval from the Victorian Government to add the words POT ORGAN DONER to the Victoria Driver Licence  , some of you may recall,   PICTURE  which took 2 years. Over the next 10 years ORGAN DONOR registrations jumped in Victoria from 15,000 To 485.000.

After 10 year Vic Roads and the Vic Government in their wisdom decided it was no longer of any value  removing the wording.


SA Who still have POT ORGAN Donor on their driver licence with an adult population of 1,4 mil have a 70%  organ donor registration.

VIC with an Adult population of 5.3mil have a 20% registration.

BEN CARROLL Minister for Roads

SOME Sad FACTS about dialysis

We have over 10,000 people on Dialysis machines up to 13 hours per week. ( 10341 ) Can you imagine your life on a machine on average 4 hrs 3 times a week to live.

We have over 3000 people on home Dialysis machines (3090 )

We have over 106 000 showing early signs of kidney failure requiring Dialysis machines in the future

We still have over 13000 still waiting for a Kidney transplant

Last Year we performed

857 Kidney transplants  & 308 Liver transplants.   80% were from living family members.


when they discovered Kidneys can remain dormant in a NEW recipient for days after the operation with the aid of dialysis which bridges the gap till the new kidney comes to LIFE. This improved the success rate x 200%

JOKE  And talking about drinking

I laughed the other day when a family named their DOG  Sober,,  when they  asked the owner why they named their dog Sober, their response  , someone in the family has to be.


Many people our age,  feel their organs would be too old to transplant.

This is also NOT TRUE…. The OLDEST donor for Lungs was 85yrs, Liver 86yrs and Cornea 104years.

How many here today have said no one would want my LIVER

If you enjoy a glass of wine or two ( and I know Probians drink in moderation, Your liver could be in good working order depending on age.


  They anticipate the Cornea will last 150 years and has been transplanted on multiple

occasions. One recipient was the third person to benefit from a Cornea transplant.  How good

would it be to donate your Cornea and give sight to someone.

A Cornea can  NOT  be stored and must be transplanted within 5-7days of donation

RUMOUR HAS IT They can transplant a CORNEA to ALMOST anyone….  …EXCEPT ..a ONE eyed Collingwood supporter.

They feel there would be NO CHANCE of rehabilitation.

As we have some Collingwood members here today.   That Rumour is totally unfounded.

Talking about Cornea’s

You may have seen a TV programme about Fred Hollows daughters, Ruth & Rosa  going to Nepal to appreciate the legacy their father left behind at the Tigana Hospital.

Ruth & Rosa viewed in ONE day ,   100 Cataract & 6 Cornea operations . Patients were head to head on a long operating table so the surgeon  could move in one step, to the next patient, saving time.

I want you all  to close your eye’s  and visualise not having had sight since birth and the expectation, having had an operation with bandages over both eyes,  Rosa and Ruth removed the bandages from patients ,  experiencing the emotion and sharing the tears of joy, their laughter  and disbelief of seeing relatives and grandchildren for the first time.


1.Who is currently on the Organ & Tissue registry?

  1. Who has discussed their wishes with their next of kin.
  2. Who knows the wishes of your next of kin.

 What time frame is available for a Transplant ?

With Heart and Liver Transplants we have a 4-6 hr window of opportunity.     Kidneys 12 hrs.

Organs can be flown from any parts of Australia and New Zealand for transplant. ( I recall a lady on a flight from Hobart carrying an organ in an  Eski on her knee.

New Zealand are on a combined registry with Australia

Q What criteria is used in selecting a recipient. A,A,B B,P, S

The necessary criteria is   ,   age of donor,  age of recipient,  , Blood type, Body Mass  predicted survival of the Organ,  Sex of patient

NB A good match,  offers a better success rate. 

If the patient is alive after ONE year and the organ functioning normally. It is deemed a success.

WE are rated number ONE in the world for successful transplants

 Q What would the quality of life be for someone waiting for a Transplant

If you were waiting at home your quality of life would be very poor.

Walking to the letter box would be exhausting.

Some are hooked up to a dialysis machines 13 hours a week.

Your bags would be packed waiting at the front door for immediate departure.

You carry a beeper at all times, as speed is of the essence.

You are expected in hospital in under an hour.

You will have a practice run getting to the hospital

A SPECIAL TEAM  look after  potential donor  families who are in shock.


Having spoken with donor families at an Annual gathering,  families perceive a sense of comfort, knowing up to 10 people have benefited from their donation and living a normal life.

This helps them in the grieving process.


This letter is to an unknown family who lost a son and donated his organs

This letter was forwarded on from the TPC as under the privacy act the donor name is kept confidential



  1. Around 1700 Australians are currently waitlisted for a transplant.
  2. 50 Australians died last year, waiting for an organ transplant, In 1998 1500 died waiting.
  3. In Australia 90% of families say yes to donation when their loved one is a registered donor.

Whereas 60% say yes when families are NOT on the register.

  1. One in 3 Adult Australians are registered donors despite the majority 69% believing that registering is important.
  2. Last year we had new organ donor registrations of 221 664
  3. Only 1% -2% of hospital deaths offer the right circumstances for Organ donation to take place.
  4. 80,000 people die in Hospital each year
  • We have 169.000 deaths each year in AUST and nearly 44.000 Victorians
  • To be an organ donor a person must die in a hospital’s intensive care unit or emergency department and be medically assessed for a transplant.
  • The Governing Body in Australia for donation and Transplantation is the Organ & Tissue Authority based in Canberra. You register through Medicare.
  • In 2019 we had 548 organ donors with 1683 recipients.
  • In 2020 we had 463 organ donors with 1270 recipients ( Less road accidents COVID )



  1. Easy access by Co-ordinators at time of death
  2. Provides a real live count of people who have registered at ANY
  3. Provides statistical information eg sex ,age ,suburb etc ( we know 65%  are female )
  4. Next of kin advised of your intentions, which is important, as this makes it far less stressful, when co-ordinators approach the relative.

In Conclusion KEY MESSAGES  

  1. We want all Australians as a topic of conversation talk about organ and tissue donation with family and friends.
  2. If you want to be a donor, make sure you register, it only takes a few minutes at You will need your Medicare number.

  1. There is always someone who will need a transplant in Australia. One day it might

    be you, or a family member. This is why we need to do more.

  1. If you are already registered, you can do more. You can encourage your family & friends

     to be a potential organ donor. Encourage them to register on the Medicare web site.