MY BROTHER

by ANNALIESE GREMMO

1,600 people waiting… waiting for their lives to be saved by a hero. I am the extremely proud sister of organ donor Nathan Gremmo. On 30 April 2015 our perfectly normal family life was shattered when my brother passed away in a car accident. Life will never be the same without him. Six lives were saved as a result of Nathan’s generous gift.

Whilst we were in hospital organ donation was the easiest decision I helped make, I needed something good to come out of this horrible tragedy. Could you imagine being on dialysis 12 hours a day and being injected daily with insulin having lungs that didn’t work properly making you feel like you’re drowning or having a heart so damaged that it could stop beating at second. We are lucky in Australia to have amazing organ transplant teams with doctors, nurses and research units that saves lives. Last year in 2014 a total of 1,193 people received the gift of life from 378 donors.

World class facilities that have achieved some of the best transplant outcomes in the world however only 50% of eligible families agreed to donate their loved ones organs. This leaves over 1600 people on a lifesaving waiting list. I’m here today to encourage people to think and discuss about tissue and organ donation. It’s as easy as discovering the facts about organ donation then deciding about becoming a donor and registering your decision online and most importantly discussing your decision with those closest to you so they are aware of your wishes.

Our family through Nathan’s legacy has set up jerseyday.com.au. We are simply asking people to wear a Jersey to school and work and most importantly have a conversation with their friends and family and register on line. Our family has endured the cruellest possible circumstances. However, I can only think that if our circumstances were reversed and Nathan was desperate for an Organ Donation we would move heaven and Earth to save my brother. However the reality is, we would be waiting for a generous organ donor family to save Nathan’s life.

I think everyone here would feel the same way. I believe we all should live our lives the same way as my brother did with his selfless, caring and respectful nature. Nathan’s last Instagram post only hours before his tragic accident was:

“ YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, BUT IF YOU DO IT RIGHT ONCE IS ENOUGH”