Home' Navy News : May 27th 2010 Contents REGISTERING as an organ and tissue
donor is easy.
-- Tick the 'organ donor' box the next time
you renew your driver's license,
-- Register in person at any Medicare office,
-- Register at www.donatelife.gov.au (pic-
If you're considering becoming a living or
deceased organ donor, take a look at DI(G)
And don't forget to discuss your decision
with your family, so they understand and can
carry out your wishes in the event of your
Interested in becoming a donor?
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May 27, 2010
By Ben Wickham
IF YOU'RE lucky, you'll go through
your whole life without you or one of
your loved ones depending on an organ
or tissue transplant to survive.
But the reality is that there are about
1800 people in Australia waiting for organ
and tissue transplants right now.
Typically they will have to wait
between six months and four years.
The largest group comprises those
in need of new kidneys, with more than
1300 people currently waiting.
POET David Frampton is one of them.
PO Frampton joined Navy in 1987.
He has spent time on DDGs and LPAs
and has deployed on operations including
Sumatra Assist and Astute. He currently
works in the Technical Regulation Cell
at FHQ, developing Material Condition
Assessment procedures for LPAs.
PO Frampton was born with a genetic
disorder which causes his immune system
to attack his kidneys. Until 2009 David
had been able to maintain reasonable kid-
ney functionality, but then they started to
How to save a life
this meant having a tube fixed into his
chest and having to visit hospital three
times a week.
PO Frampton has since had an A/V
fistula created (a connection between an
artery and a vein in the forearm, allow-
ing blood flow to and from a dialysing
With training from the Sydney
Dialysis Centre he is now able to manage
the process himself and spends 24 hours a
week doing dialysis at home.
It's allowed him reasonable mobil-
ity, and he's resumed full-time work, but
what PO Frampton really needs is a new
"I can continue as I am, but along with
the dialysis I have to closely monitor my
food and drink intake, and I have to take
medication to deal with some things my
kidneys would normally take care of," he
It means he can't go to sea, either.
"I also have to be careful about stuff
like phosphates and potassium in my
diet. Your body requires a certain level
of potassium, but too much or too lit-
tle greatly increases your risk of a heart
attack. So that means chocolate's out,
unfortunately, as are most forms of alco-
"Until my kidneys failed I had
not thought much about organ
"Until my kidneys failed I had not
thought much about organ donation. I
had ticked the box on my license, but I
had never talked with my family about it.
Both my wife and I are now on the Organ
Donor Register. If I should die then any
of my other organs may help someone
else to live.
"I'm lucky really, in that I can live a
mostly normal life while I wait on the
transplant list, whereas those patients
requiring a heart or lung transplant can
and do die while waiting."
One thing you might be surprised to
learn is that kidney transplant recipients
don't have their existing kidneys removed
beforehand. Surgeons use ultrasound to
find a spot to fit the third kidney and then
plumb it into the recipient's bloodstream
and renal system.
For people in need of a transplant, the
paradox is that Australia has a world-class
reputation for successful organ retrieval
and transplantation, and yet it has one
of the lowest rates of organ donation. In
2009, 247 donors gave to 799 recipients.
That's a rate of just 11.3 donors per mil-
If you're interested in becoming a
and Tissue Authority website (see brea-
kout); or you can tick the 'organ donor'
box when you next renew your driver's
ADF members may also be liv-
ing organ donors, with prior approval.
Defence Instruction (General) PERS 44-1
'Organ/tissue donations by members of
the Australian Defence Force' sets out the
parameters for both living and deceased
Commander Joint Health Command,
MAJGEN Paul Alexander, encourages all
Service personnel to consider registering.
"I urge all the men and women of the
ADF to consider becoming organ and tis-
sue donors -- their selfless act could save
the lives of up to 10 people," MAJGEN
"It's absolutely vital that they also
discuss their wishes with their families,
because it's the family that makes the
final decision to donate their organs in the
tragic event of their death."
For POET Frampton, life continues
mostly as normal. But he dearly hopes to
return to sea, and he looks forward to the
day when the phone brings news that that
most precious of gifts, and the tantalising
possibilities it brings, has arrived.
it's easy to do.
You can go to any
you can regis-
ter on the Organ
he's needed regu-
lar dialysis to
from his blood-
NOT DROWNING, WAITING: POET David Frampton is one
of 1300 Australians on the waiting list for a new kidney.
Photo: ABIS Lee-Anne Mack
-- POET David Frampton
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