House debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Constituency Statements

Bonner Electorate: Organ and Tissue Donation

10:47 am

Photo of Ross VastaRoss Vasta (Bonner, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Last month we had DonateLife Week. I hope everyone had a chance to have that very difficult but necessary chat with their loved ones. Last week I met an extraordinary man from my electorate. Lachlan Wallace knows more than anyone how important it is to register as an organ and tissue donor. Lachlan was born with a disease of the liver meaning he'd always need a transplant. His condition worsened to the point his father, David, was preparing to donate part of his liver to keep him alive but, thankfully, a donor was found. Lachlan underwent a liver transplant at eight years of age. Thanks to the efforts of a complete stranger and their family who chose to give the gift of life, Lachlan survived. Now he is in his last year at Iona College.

Lachlan is a tall guy, taller than I am. He plays rugby and cricket at school and, looking at him, you'd never guess he was so sick as a child. That's what takes other sick kids and their parents by surprise when Lachlan visits them in hospital. Lachlan organises hospital visits in his spare time, where he helps young patients going through the same thing that he did. He tells me when these kids and their families see him, sometimes just after cricket practice when he is still in his gear, it shows them that they really can get better. Lachlan's parents also come along on these visits. They chat with parents and families, sharing what they went through to help other parents. What an amazing family.

I want to thank Lachlan for all the great work he has done in the community. I heard he wanted to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and become a police officer, so I invited him and his father, David, to meet the local officers at Wynnum police station as part of DonateLife Week. It was a great morning, and I was so pleased to meet this inspiring young man. Lachlan says it's so important to have a chat with your loved ones about your wishes to join the Australian Organ Donor Register and let your family know what you have done. DonateLife Week is over, but it is never too late to sign up to be a donor. You could save a life.