Transplant recipient urges others to consider donation
AS WE approach Christmas, Kingaroy’s Ruth Wright believes she has already received the greatest gift of all from her little brother: a kidney.
She is now calling on others to consider registering as organ donors so more people can be receive the “gift of life”.
“I’ve now got a second chance at life — if I hadn’t had the transplant I would be on dialysis by now,” Mrs Wright said.
The former Kingaroy State High School chaplain who was diagnosed with a kidney disease in 1998, was hit hard by infections earlier this year.
This led to her kidney function dropping to just 10 per cent which put her at risk of dialysis, normally offered to those with a function of 7–10 per cent.
But when Mrs Wright was told she needed a new kidney, three of her siblings and her husband offered to donate theirs.
“It’s really humbling that they would do that,” she said.
Youngest brother Terry Richardson from Adelaide was a “nearly perfect match”.
Out of every 1000 people, often only two are a possible match for those needing a kidney like Mrs Wright.
Mrs Wright received her brother’s kidney on September 2 in Brisbane.
Both she and Mr Richardson have since recovered well, and Mrs Wright’s new kidney worked straight away.
After the operation Mr Richardson told his sister he would happily make the sacrifice again.
Mrs Wright told him, “no you wouldn’t, you’ve only got one kidney”.
“I do worry that my brother has only one kidney now,” she said.
Mrs Wright is grateful for Mr Richardson’s wife, Karen, and his daughters’ support.
“It’s amazing my family is so supportive,” she said.
Mrs Wright is in awe of those willing to donate their organs.
“I just think they are amazing. It’s such a sacrifice,” she said.
“You can give a number of people a new chance at life.”
Many people who need a new organ are on a waiting list for years, and Mrs Wright said the majority of those had lived healthy lives.
Her kidney disease was hereditary, while others are born with weak organs or are involved in accidents.
As the majority of organ donors are people who have died, Mrs Wright said she was is in awe of the grieving families who agreed to make the call on their loved one’s behalf.
To register as a donor or for more information about the process, visit donatelife.gov.au.