The power of organ donation
AT just nine years of age, Thorn Pochyly has endured more than anyone should have to in a lifetime.
After contracting meningococcal meningitis septicaemia when he was seven months old, Thorn has been in and out of hospital, seen countless therapists and been scarily close to death more times than he can count.
But after an amazing gift, his future looks a whole lot brighter.
“I got a new kidney and now I feel really good,” Thorn said.
“I can swim and I love playing with my friends.”
Thorn, who was left with complete organ failure, brain damage, severe body scarring and lost his foot and part of his thumb after contracting meningococcal, would not have survived without the transplant.
“In September 2008, his kidney started to shut down and he was forced onto dialysis 10 hours a day, seven days a week. We knew eventually he would need a new kidney to survive,” his mother Kylie said.
After 14 months of round-the clock dialysis, Kylie got the phone call in January – they had a kidney for Thorn.
“I just shook,” Kylie said.
“We jumped in the car at 2am and we were in Sydney by 7.30am. Thorn was wheeled into surgery at 10am on the dot.”
The excruciating wait to find out if the kidney took and if it would save Thorn’s life began.
Now, almost five months on, life has completely turned around.
“It’s been a huge change for us – we actually have to get used to (Thorn not being sick).
“He used to be really agro, we thought it was part of the brain damage but he just felt so sick all the time he wasn’t happy.
“Now he’s off dialysis completely and he can go swimming, he can eat, he can run around and play with his friends at school.
“That kidney saved my son’s life.”
Kylie and Thorn have gone public with their story to promote organ donation and awareness of meningococcal.
“People should see what it means for a family to be given that gift. I would encourage everyone to become an organ donor – you really do save someone’s life,” said Kylie.
For more information on organ donation visit www.donatelife.org.au
For more information about meningococcal, visit The Violet Foundation website at www.violetfoundation.org.au