Being by their beloved husband and father’s side as they said their final goodbyes was a harrowing experience for the Lucas family.
The untimely death of Jim Lucas left his family devastated, yet in his final moments they took comfort knowing Jim was a registered organ donor and were adamant to fulfill his wish of organ donorship.
This DonateLife Week, Jim’s wife of 44 years, Ann-Marie, together with her children, Louise, Julie-Anne and Andrew, share their story of how quickly life can change for one family while providing new life for others.
“The day started just like any other. Jim went for his early morning 10km run, had a shower and then came down with a sudden headache,” Ann-Marie said.
“This exacerbated over a very short period of time so I called for an ambulance and, subsequently, Jim was admitted to Mackay Base Hospital where a brain aneurysm was diagnosed with a Grade 5 sub-arachnoid haemorrhage.
“He was intubated, placed on life support and sadly passed away four days later.”
“Jim was a very fit and healthy man so we were, and still are, completely shocked and devastated.”
While it was an extremely difficult time, Ann-Marie said they were determined to stay strong and honour Jim’s decision of donating his organs.
“He always said he would like to give someone a second chance at life and felt it would be a privilege to help someone who was struggling with their health,” she said.
“The day he passed away he saved the lives of four people by donating his lungs and kidneys.
“He had the most amazing ability for always putting others before himself. He was very much a “giver” in life and proved himself to be true to his word, by being a “giver” in death.”
Mackay’s Donation Specialist Nurse Coordinator Donna Contor said DonateLife Week is a key event that highlights the benefits organ and tissue donation has for transplant recipients and their families in Australia.
“From 26 July to 2 August we encourage all Australians to register and donate life. There are around 1,700 Australians currently on the waitlist for a life-saving transplant and a further 12,000 people on dialysis,” Donna said.
“The gift of organ and tissue donation gives recipients a second chance at experiencing all of the love, joy and adventure that life has to offer.”
Donna said in 2019 more than 540 people nationally donated their precious organs helping to save the lives of 1444 Australians, with many more donating tissue including eyes, skin, heart tissue and bone.
“We can help save and transform more lives if more Australians register to become donors. Remember to have the chat with your loved ones so they know what you want,” she said.
Registering to be an organ and tissue donor is quick using the online form via donatelife.gov.au.
“A minute of your time online could one day save the lives of many,” Donna said.
Amie Galletly | Communications Officer | 4885 6808