Hundreds give their thanks for the gift of life 05 May 2004
Matamata farming couple Lynda and Murray Bartz joined about 500 other people in Auckland last weekend at a thanksgiving service recognising the gift of life to others.
Mrs Bartz received a liver transplant 4Ã‚? years ago after having been given a finite period to live.
She now enjoys good health but attends the annual service every year and sees it as "my way of acknowledging someone, who by donating an organ, gave me a chance of life.
"I come to the service every year. It is my way of acknowledging someone who by donating an organ, gave me a chance of life.
"You are really aware of what you have received. You don't ever forget what it is you have been given." People who donate their organs not only benefit the recipients but their wider families.
"We have four children, who through an unknown person's generosity, still have their mother today," Mrs Bartz said. "It really brings a family closer together."
The weekend service was held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland, and brought together the families of organ donors, organ recipients and some of the medical staff involved.
Organised by national organ donor co-ordinators Janice Langlands and Dawn Kelly, the thanksgiving services are held annually in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Waikato Hospital was represented by two organ donation link nurses, Alison McAlley and Sue Macaskill. Last year Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit cared for six multiple organ donors.
"While this number may not seem a lot, each donor has the potential to change the lives of up to 10 organ recipients and their families," said Mrs McAlley.
Courtesy of STUFF - www.stuff.co.nz
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