Hunter gives gift of life

HUNTER Blandford was just 14 months old when he lost his life ... but he died a hero.

The little boy, who tragically suffered a burst blood vessel in his brain one night and never woke up, saved four lives after his mother Trista made the extraordinarily brave decision to donate his organs.

Now, after seeing the amazing gift her son gave to others, she is asking other parents to hear her story and think about it too.

“The reason I chose to do it was basically to help any other parent not to go through what I did,” Trista said.

“If Hunter could help another person, that’s a great reason to do it.”

When Hunter was found, his heart was still beating but he was clinically brain dead, which meant that he was able to be an organ and tissue donor.

He was kept on a ventilator to keep his heart beating and organs functioning while the recipients were found for his organs.

Hunter’s kidneys were transplanted into a teenage girl and three of his heart valves were used to save newborn babies. Unfortunately, a recipient could not be found anywhere in Australia or New Zealand for his heart or liver.

Trista said while it was the most difficult decision she has ever had to make, she knew it was the right one.

“I don’t see myself as special or anything like that, it’s Hunter who is the hero. I believe he was put here for a reason and that was to save those four people – he’s the special one,” she said.

“I’m urging everyone to discuss donation with their family and friends and to register on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

“I never, ever thought that I would have to make this decision about my 14-month-old son but it does show you that it can happen to anyone at any time, so it is never too early to talk about your decision to be an organ and tissue donor. Do it today. Like Hunter, you can save the life of another human being.”

If you would like to become an organ donor, Trista advises talking to your friends and family about it.

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