Paying it forward with Michael Hornby

Prince Charles Hospital Foundation CEO Michael Hornby shares what the hospital is doing in the area of organ donation and transplantation.

About 1400 Australians are currently on a waitlist for an organ transplant.

Prince Charles Hospital Foundation CEO Michael Hornby has seen first-hand how distressing it can be for families forced to play the waiting game on life saving surgery.

“One patient was a 50-year-old guy, six children, he had lung disease for the past 11 years, very fit and healthy man, played rugby league, but for 11 years he had been basically feeling like he was breathing through a straw,” he said.

“So, his wife became his carer, his kids had never known him (other than being ill) and when he went into hospital at the Prince Charles one of the clinicians identified him as being in real trouble and put him on the transplant list.

“For his good fortune he got on it very fast and within a short period of time he got an organ donor.”

Mr Hornby said DonateLife Week, from 28 July to 4 August, was an ideal time for  Australians to register to be an organ and tissue donor.

“Prince Charles Hospital is one of Australia’s leading cardiothoracic facilities for heart and lung transplants specifically,” he said.

“We probably do about 50 to 60 organ transplants per year.

“One of the great privileges I have in my work is that I get to meet the people who are living a second life.”

Last year, 1782 lives were saved by 554 organ donations and more than 10,500 Australians benefited from eye and tissue donation.

Mr Hornby said one of the challenges in Australia was while people believed it was important to register to become a donor, they often don’t sign up or tell their family about their decision.

“Please tell your loved ones if you want to become an organ donor, because if they don’t know and something terrible goes wrong and you do pass, you don’t want your family having to make those decisions,” he said.

“What we often forget about is that for the medical teams who are charged with asking these questions, it is the most horrific thing to go through.

“By going on the register to be an organ donor and making sure the family members all know that, it also provides some support to the medical teams who are just trying to save everybody.”

You can register as an organ and tissue donor here.

Listen to more from Michael Hornby below.

Your shout is available on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple iTunes and RACQ Living.


Dying to Live - Trailer from GIFTING LIFE PTY LTD on Vimeo.