Organ donation decision was tough, says David Hookes' widow
THE widow of cricketer David Hookes says she might never have agreed to his organs being transplanted had the family not discussed that very issue ahead of his untimely death.
Robyn Hookes, special guest at the Canberra launch of the government's latest TV campaign to promote organ donation, said David had been firm in family discussions that he would have no need for his organs once dead.
But as he lay brain dead in hospital, his life only maintained by a respirator, it wasn't that clear or simple.
"He had one blow to the head and within 24 hours I had to make the decision," Mrs Hookes said.
"How can you possibly just say yes to giving someone's organs away when you are so desperately trying to hang on to them.
"David to me was warm, he was breathing, what appeared to me as normal. How do I say yes take him to theatre, take out all his organs and tissue and then I know that after that theatre process, he is going to be dead."
"I couldn't say honestly that I would have said yes," she said.Mrs Hookes said without those earlier family discussions she may not have agreed to the use of his organs, even though that was clearly what he had wanted.
Hookes, a test cricketer, died in January 2004 of massive head injuries after being punched by a bouncer and hitting his head outside a St Kilda pub.
His organs subsequently gave life to 10 others.
Under this campaign - titled "To donate life, discuss it today - OK" - TV ads go to air from Sunday night encouraging families to talk about organ donation.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said there was a widespread view that having "donor" inscribed on a driver's licence was enough.
"Let me nail that right on the head to the nation. The fact that you as an individual may indicate that you wish to donate your organs if you die, but will not have your wish carried out unless your family and loved ones approve that choice," he said.
Mr Rudd said family and loved ones would always be asked.
"That's the bottom line here. Therefore making the heroic personal election decision to say `yes I'm going to be an organ donor', that's only half of it.
"Making sure that your family and loved ones are going to sign that off, that is what makes it happen."
THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE IN SPEAKING WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT YOUR WISHES TO BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR IT IS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH TO REGISTER WITH YOUR COUNTRY OR STATE REGISTRY. PLEASE SPARE YOUR FAMILY THE ANGUISH IN DECIDING WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.