Tory Lord was just 23 years old when he passed unexpectedly while on a European holiday with his girlfriend in April 2016.
His sister, Courtney, is sharing her family’s story for the first time during Donate Life Week as a reminder to others about the importance of making sure their wishes count.
“Tory was in a coma for seven days and given limited chance of survival as soon as he arrived at the hospital. It was an extremely difficult time for our family,” Courtney said.
“For us, the decision to donate Tory’s organs was unanimous as we felt it was an opportunity to help other families and could prevent them from having to go through what we did.”
Courtney describes Tory as a generous man who would have wanted nothing more than to be able to give the gift of life to others in need.
Tissue such as bone marrow and skin and four of his organs were donated with all recipients doing well and their quality of life improving.
“Tory’s liver saved the life of a 53 year old Belgian man and his pancreas and right kidney were transplanted to a 44 year old male who no longer has to live with diabetes,” she said.
“His heart went to a 53 year old man in Belgium. Knowing Tory’s heart has saved the life of another person and that his legacy lives on brings us some comfort.
“Thanks to his gift three other families will now have more time to spend with the ones they love.”
Organ and tissue donation isn’t for everyone, but for those who are willing to give the gift of life to others, it’s important to officially record your decision online.
The Australian Organ Donor Register is the only national register for people to record their decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor for transplantation after death.
Tory hadn’t officially registered as an organ donor and it was only because of a conversation with his family that they knew what to do. For others the decision may not be as straight forward.
“It was only after my brother passed that I found out that registering as a tissue and organ donor on your license isn’t enough,” she said.
“Registering to be a donor is important as it doesn’t leave your loved ones with an extremely difficult decision if you can’t make that choice yourself.
“You can register online and it only takes a couple of minutes. It can be done anywhere, anytime and on any device; it’s very easy.”
Join the Australian Organ Donor Register online today by visiting www.donatelife.gov.au
Fast Facts on organ and tissue donation:
- DonateLife Week runs from Saturday 30 July – Sunday 6 August
- Just 33% (6.2 million) of Australians aged 16 years and over have joined the Australian Organ Donor Register, even though 49% of Australians are aware of the Register and 69% believe that registration is the best way to ensure your donation decision is known.
- 1,400 Australians are on the transplant waiting lists, and a further 12,000 people on dialysis.
- Share your registered decision on social media this DonateLife Week, using #makeitcount and #donatelife