DonateLife: Auslan Videos
Earlier this year Expression Australia launched a series of videos with DonateLife about organ and tissue donation. It is a sensitive topic that is not widely discussed, however Australians from all walks of life are in need of organ and tissue transplants. This includes members of the Deaf community. Medina Sumovic and Meg Aumann, members of our Deaf community, shared their personal experiences in the hope of encouraging people to register as organ and tissue donors.
Medina, who has had two double lung transplants never imagined she would need such drastic measures to improve her health. She notes “Initially the doctor’s diagnosis was for a lung and heart transplant. It just didn’t sink in. I was in shock...” This started a journey of 18 months on the waiting list, the operation and long recovery.”
A second transplant was required five years later due to her body rejecting the first lungs. “It’s not lost on me that I’ve had two lung transplants. This means that someone has died and they have donated their organs…they have given me a gift so that I can continue living.”
Meg lived through every parent’s nightmare of seeing her baby connected to a machine and fighting for life in hospital. Her son, Ashton suffered heart failure in the first few months of life and was placed on the waiting list for a transplant. He received a heart at six months of age.
Reflecting on seeing her son for the first time after the operation Meg commented “There was less equipment, fewer tubes. The nurse said “he’s got a healthy heart now” and I thought ‘of course’” Ashton is now a happy and active toddler.
Meg thinks about the donor family often and the incredible gift they gave in such a difficult time. “They not only saved our son, they saved our family too.”
Australia has an opt in system for organ donor registration so it is important to be able to make an informed decision. The series of videos also cover the facts about organ and tissue donation and the importance of making sure your family are aware of your decision to be a donor.
The videos were officially launched at a livestreamed event on Tuesday 22 may and the event attracted over 7,000 views of the post, 3,100 of the video, 27 shares and dozens of comments. Since this time, the videos on the have been publicised to the wider community as part of DonateLife week in July.
The project was funded by a grant from the Organ and Tissue Foundation and we thank them for allowing us to embark on such a collaborative and community led project!