Recognising transplant donors and families

8th June 2017 10:42 AM
TRANSPLANT TWINS: Jim Booth with his friends Sandy and Lee Briskey. Lee received a liver transplant at the same time as Jim. TRANSPLANT TWINS: Jim Booth with his friends Sandy and Lee Briskey. Lee received a liver transplant at the same time as Jim. Contributed

EVERY year for the past six years, Jim Booth has been attending a Service of Remembrance in Rockhampton.

The event is in aid of recognising organ and tissue donors and their families who make transplantation possible.

"I attend this yearly, it is very important, someone died for me to live,” Jim said.

On September 9, 2011, Jim underwent life-saving surgery to have a kidney transplant.

"I had kidney renal failure, I had to do 10 hour dialysis each night for three years,” Jim said.

If Jim didn't have the transplant, the effects of his kidney failure would have been fatal.

"I would have had to go on heavy dialysis three days a week up at the Rockhampton Base Hospital,” Jim said.

"It wear downs your body too much and you get big lumps in your arm from the needles.”

To say thanks for saving his life, Jim attends and participates in the annual remembrance service.

"It is a sombre feeling, you sit there and think of what has happened,” Jim said.

The service is organised by Jospehine Reoch who works with transplant families in ICU.

"Every year they ring me up and ask if I want to participate,” Jim said.

In 2014, Jim gave a speech of his story and this year he said a speech of thanks.

"Every year I meet new people, we get new transplant recipients and more people attend,” Jim said.

Jim also keeps in touch with his donors' family, writing letters to them.

"Something as simple as giving thanks to the family for giving life to me,” Jim said.