That's right, eleven in one million.
What a statistic.
I heard it on the radio today. Only eleven people out of every one million Queenslanders have signed up to donate their organs.
This is a statistic of which all Queenslanders should be deeply ashamed. I just can't understand it myself.
I would bet that there is a near 100% rate of people who would accept a transplant if they needed one.
When my mother died, I was broken-hearted. To this day, the knowledge that somewhere in Western Australia there are two people who can see thanks to transplants of her corneas, uplifts me. My Mum is still doing good, years after her death.
But it was hard at the time. Mum had left no indication of whether she wanted her organs donated for transplant. Hers was a generation which didn't think of these things ... she didn't even have a driver's licence to indicate her preference for transplant.
The people who organise organ transplants have no time for sympathy. They rang me within hours of her death. "We need to know now. Sorry, but they are no good to anyone by tomorrow."
And I was left to make the decision myself.
Knowing my Mum, I was sure she would gladly give her now useless body parts to aid someone still in the land of the living, so I had no qualms in giving the transplant my consent and blessing.
How much easier if you yourself make the decision. Unless it is against your religion, fill in the organ donor's part of your driver's licence. Go online to www.donatelife.gov.au and find out more about it. And tell your nearest and dearest of your wish.
They will thank you. And somewhere, you might even save a life, not just give the gift of sight.
(And yes, I have registered as an organ donor.)