IN A LOVING, positive tribute to their son, locals Una and Michael Carpenter are sharing their story in the hope it will inspire conversation and action.
"Tragic things happen and parents and families have to make difficult decisions; if the situation arises you will be asked,” said Michael "Mick” Carpenter.
Two years ago the couple's middle son, Jason 38, passed away in hospital. Jason suffered from epilepsy since he was a young boy and died as the result of a severe seizure. In the 90-minute window between death and the viable outcome for organ donation, this family was asked to make a decision.
"Jason was on life support for six days and we weren't given false hope; it would have been a miracle if he'd survived,” said his mother, Una.
While organ donation is the ultimate gift the conversation is difficult, for families and medical staff, and is often made in times of disbelief and raw grief.
"The doctor was coming in to ask us and we told him, 'we've already decided' and he said, 'you have made my job easier',” Mick said.
"Jason was a compassionate person. As someone with severe epilepsy he wasn't able to do the same as others. Being able to do this would have meant so much to him. This wasn't the hardest decision we've had to make; it gave us some joy.”
Seven individuals benefited from Jason's legacy.
Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker met with Mick and Una to discuss the family's life-giving decision and
how important organ donation is for the 1400 Australians awaiting a transplant.
"I commend Michael and his family on making the decision to donate his son's organs, which no doubt saved or dramatically changed a number of lives,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
"Jason lives on because of the impact that his organs are now having for others.
"I can't imagine what it's like to lose a son, but donating his organs to others who are desperately waiting means Jason leaves behind a positive legacy.”
Mick Carpenter will be getting on his BMW 1200 and joining Luke Hartsuyker on August 5 ride from Coffs to Port Macquarie to raise awareness about organ donation.
To be part of the ride register at lukehartsuyker. com.au/ride.
To become an organ donor: donatelife.gov.au.