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When I spent a year in America in the 1980’s, I was exposed to Valentine’s Day being used to express love, gratefulness, thankfulness and appreciation of others.  This included friends, family members and distant relatives and not just romantically towards a husband, wife or partner. I was amazed at the time to see Valentine’s cards for aunties, uncles, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, the list was endless.  So as Valentine’s Day approached this year, I pondered who we could focus on this year.

Love is expressed freely to those in our family, so we chose to remember Organ and Tissue Donors with thankfulness and gratefulness.  They helped save the lives of our family members, friends and recent acquaintances.  So simply put … organ and tissue donors are the real heroes in our stories. They gave our family member and friends a second chance at life … which is a gift that keeps on giving!  Donors gave each of the recipients the opportunity to continue to love those around them, to experience life and to have a future.

Today, we honour the donors and donor families of our transplant family and friends – look how much we have to be grateful for:

 

Heart  and Bilateral lung transplant recipients

 

Matthew  Legemaate ­- 1 year – 2017

 

Tina Beckbessinger – 7 years – 2011

 

Heart Transplant recipients

 

Paul Reardon – 5 months – 2018

 

Selva Kisten – 3 years – 2016

 

Charles Ferguson – 3 years – 2016

 

Roshan Singh – 3,5 years – 2015

 

Segaren Naicker – 4,5 years – 2014

 

Alan Paisley – 5,5 years – 2013

 

Shalendra Sing – 6 years – 2013

 

Sanjay Maharaj – 10 years – 2009

 

Ashley Ramkisson  – 13 years – 2006

 

Nerashini Chetty – 13,5 years – 2005

 

Steve Dias – 13,5 years – 2005

 

Penni Purcell – 14 years – 2005

 

Sannie Libenberg – 18 years – 2001

 

Praveena Vanther – 20 years – 1999

 

Double Lung transplant recipients

 

Michelle Michael – 7 years – 2012

Kidney – Pancreas transplant recipient

 

Marilee Chanani – 5 years – 2014

Liver transplant recipient

 

Aidan Maddocks – 2018

Cornea transplant recipient

 

Amy Lagesse – 2 years – 2017

 

Kidney Transplant recipients

 

Henk Goris – 4 years – 2015

 

We also need to honour living donors – Living donors save lives when they selflessly give of themselves so that another person may live.  In the cases of Julie and Jennifer this is what happened.  Julie received a kidney from a close friend, Laurie Smith and Jennifer one from her sister, Melissa Young.  Both of these lovely ladies had their lives saved by their very special donors.

 

Julie Anthony – 3 years – 2016

 

Jennifer Swanepoel – 2 years – 2017
(Photo by Christopher Laurenz)

 

The impact that an organ and tissue donor and their family has on a recipient and their family’s life is priceless. Please know that you are valued and appreciated more than we could ever express.

To give the gift of life, please register as an organ donor and tell your family and friends.

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