Spare part gives son gift of life

TOGETHER they are living proof of the generous gift of life, sharing a most special father-son bond.

Three decades ago, Kevin Habgood gave a part of himself to save his son, Donald.

In the prime of his life Donald suffered kidney failure, the result of nephritis during his later school years.

On dialysis and in need of a life saving donor, Donald said he was overwhelmed when his father stepped forward without hesitation in 1979.

“The transplant was carried out after six months with unbelievable results,” Donald said.

“The donation of my kidney has been the most rewarding experience of my life,” Kevin says all these years later.

The Urunga father and son are now the longest living donor and recipient to have come through the Royal North Shore Hospital’s Transplant Centre.

Pausing to mark Donate Life Week, they have urged others to make sure they are listed as organ donors on their drivers’ licences.

Kevin and Donald’s mile- stone has been recognised by NSW Governor Marie Bashir and Dr John Mahony, the surgeon who performed the transplant.

“Dr Mahony has looked after us for the 32-years since the transplant and has become a very valued family friend,” Kevin said.

Happily married to Debbie, Donald is a well-known builder in the region and said every day he’s reminded of his father’s generous gift.

“It would be wonderful if more people would sign on to donate life and give other families the opportunity to enjoy the experience our family has had.”

A market stall promoting Donate Life Week will run in Coffs Harbour’s City Square tomorrow.

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