The Road Ahead : February March 2015
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 21 WELLBEING | LIFESTYLE FEB/MAR 2015 THE ROAD AHEAD IMAGE: TRENT MULLEY AND HIS MOTHER JULIA. TRENT MULLEY WAS born with two malformed kidneys, and when they began failing in his early twenties, his mother Julia's donation of one of her kidneys transformed his life. "Of course, my Mum jumped straight in," Trent said. "I was worried but it just worked out perfectly. Everything changed for the better for me." Julia's donation gave Trent the greatest gift -- his life -- and he knows it. He's gone on to raise two wonderful children with high school sweetheart Nikki on the Gold Coast, and he takes nothing for granted. "You hear everyone say it's given you a second chance on life, but it really has," said Trent. "It's a bit of a cliché, but there's no other way to say it. I've been to a few World Transplant Games. I play soccer, and I go wakeboarding. Without the kidney I wouldn't have been able to do that. I probably would have been on dialysis five hours a day, three times a week." When her son's kidneys began failing in 1999, Julia Mulley Donate Life advises people to: • Discuss their donation decision with loved ones; • Ask and know loved ones’ donation decisions; • Register their own donation decision on the Australian Organ Donation Register. For further information, visit www.donatelife.gov.au. the gift of life WHILE THE BOND BETWEEN MOTHER AND CHILD IS ONE OF LIFE'S MOST PRECIOUS, THE CONNECTION TRENT MULLEY HOLDS WITH MUM JULIA IS EXTRA SPECIAL. STORY LUKE GILPIN | PHOTO STU RILEY didn't hesitate and, in doing so, quickly changed his life. "You wouldn't believe the miraculous difference a day could make," Julia said. "The day after the operation he had colour in his cheeks and a sparkle in his eye. It just worked straight away. It was an instantaneous reaction. "When you sit back and watch a person slowly disappear in front of your eyes, there was no hesitation on my part." This inspirational story is all the more remarkable as Julia had her own health battles to conquer before and after the transplant, something Trent says makes her an inspiration. "She broke her wrist a week before the transplant, had the transplant, got breast cancer 12 months later ... she's been through it all," Trent said. "She's just unbelievable, to tell you the truth." Trent is just one of many Australians whose lives have been transformed thanks to organ transplants, with 1122 people receiving donations in 2013. However, with nearly 1500 Australians on transplant waiting lists, Donate Life Queensland spokesperson Kate Stodart says it's critical Queenslanders have a conversation with loved ones about donating their organs. "If you've spoken to your family about your wishes then they don’t have to make that decision; they just have to honour the one you've already made," Ms Stodart said. With Queenslanders no longer able to register as an organ donor on their driver’s licence, the Australian Organ Donor Register is the only way to record your wishes. "There's been a fair bit of confusion among Queenslanders," Ms Stodart said. "Many still believe they have registered through their driver's licence, but that option hasn't been available since 2005. “We encourage people to sign up on the Australian Organ Donor Register.” For Trent, he's just thankful for the decision his mother Julia made. "People need to understand that it works," Trent said. "If someone receives an organ and it matches, it's going to change their life. They'll go from being sick and laying around to being well and leading normal lives, have a family, and have kids. You need to have the conversation. It makes a massive difference." Julia's donation gave Trent the greatest gift -- his life -- and he knows it.
April 1st 2015