'I am so thankful': Organ donation gives new lease on life

Pinjarra resident John Coman wouldn't be here today without his life-saving organ transplant in 2014. Photo: Supplied.

Pinjarra resident John Coman wouldn't be here today without his life-saving organ transplant in 2014. Photo: Supplied.

It was 2014 when Pinjarra resident John Coman received the shocking news that he had one month to live.

"I had minimal liver and kidney function," he said.

"From about 2010 my health had deteriorated and my ability to complete my work tasks was diminished.

"I resigned from my teaching position in December 2013 and in February 2014 I collapsed into a coma - I was put on the organ transplant list in March."

Receiving a liver transplant four weeks later, John said he wouldn't have achieved so many things in life without it.

I am so thankful of the gift of extended life an organ donor has given to me.

Organ transplant recipient John Coman

"I competed in the 2019 World Transplant Games and won two medals," he said.

"I started a charity, Voice of Grace Australia, which educates urban poor youth in the Philippines and fed 4500 people through COVID-19.

"I pastored a church since August 2014 and in 2015 was a founding member of the Pinjarra Community Kitchen, which helps battling families in our region with weekly meals and food parcels."

John's story is just one of many in Australia with statistics putting the number of people currently on the organ transplant waiting list at 1700.

With a 20 per cent decline in organ donations compared to last year, John is urging others to join the organ donor register this Saffron Day.

Saffron Day on Thursday, October 22 is in honour of Deyaan Udani who tragically passed away on a family holiday in 2016.

Not long before the trip, Deyaan and his older sister Naisha told their parents they wanted to be organ donors one day to help save the lives of others.

Little did Deyaan's mum and dad know that a few months later, they would be faced with the decision to donate his organs. Their decision to honour Deyaan's wish saved four lives.

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"I am so thankful of the gift of extended life an organ donor has given to me and I want to invest that extra life into my family, my community and wherever opportunity arises," John said.

"Organ donation is a wonderful act of caring for others and their families that multiplies the effect of your life on the world around you."

To find out more about organ donation visit, donatelife.gov.au/saffronday