A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Amy's miracle

Amy was only five weeks old when she was diagnosed with a rare liver disease. It was an organ donation that saved her life.

Amy is a happy three-year-old child who will realise as she grows older the incredible gift that is organ donation.

Amy was only five weeks old when she was diagnosed with biliary atresia - a rare form of liver disease where bile ducts are non-existent, are malformed or destroyed after birth.

By the time she was four months old, doctors confirmed that Amy would need a liver transplant to survive.

"Until that point I was still hoping that it would all resolve and I would be sent on my way with my happy little baby" says Ali, Amy's mum.

Ali struggled with the idea that for Amy to live, someone else had to pass away.

"It's an awful position to be in because as her mum, I want to see her healthy and happy, but the thought of sitting back and waiting for someone else to pass away, or for another family to go through that pain of losing a child - it's heartbreaking."

The only way Amy came to reconcile with this fact was acknowledging the incredible strength of organ donors and their families.

"I'm not wanting someone to die, I'm wishing that if someone does unfortunately die, their family has the strength in that moment to save someone else."

With Amy's condition worsening, she started to become bright yellow and suffer from a series of complications including vomiting, lack of vitamin absorption, poor blood tension and more.

It wasn't until Ali received the call whilst waiting in the Austin Emergency Department that the transplant was a go ahead.

The change in Amy immediately after the transplant was instant.

"In a few hours she turned a healthy pink."

Ali encourages everyone to consider organ donation so that more lives like Amy's can be saved.

It's DonateLife Week - the national campaign to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation from 29 July - 5 August 2018. Only taking a minute to register your decision online, Australian's are being encouraged to think about how they can help save those whose lives depend on organ donation.

The facts about organ donation

• Almost 70% of Victorians support organ donation, yet only one in five have registered their decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

• Organ donation is a precious and rare opportunity, with just 1% of deaths in a hospital setting occurring in the very specific circumstances that allow for donation to take place.

• In 2017, 148 generous Victorian families agreed to donate their loved ones' organs, saving the lives of 389 recipients.

• Around 1,400 Australians and their families are waiting for the call that a life-saving organ has become available.

• If you previously recorded a donation decision on your driver's licence, you still need to join the Australian Organ Donor Register. Registering takes less than a minute, and all you need is your Medicare card.

To join the Australian Organ Donor Register, or for more information visit donatelife.gov.au