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.