MICHAEL Jeffery doesn’t know if he would be around if it wasn’t for organ donation.
Mr Jeffery was told by doctors he was inside the last 12 months of life if he didn’t get a double lung transplant.
He received the life saving operation in June last year.
Now, he is fit, healthy, loving life and has a message to spread as part of DonateLife Week.
He was at the launch on Monday along with Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peter Besseling, MP Leslie Williams and Mid-North Coast Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick.
Each spoke of the importance of becoming an organ donor.
“If it wasn’t for organ donation I probably wouldn’t be here,” Mr Jeffery said. “But I’ve had an extremely good and remarkable recovery.”
Although happy to still be here he said his thoughts often went to the family of his donor.
“I always think how fortunate I am,” he said. “But at the same time it must have been a lot of suffering for my donor’s family.
“The fact that it was available means that I’m still here today. It’s quite hard to put in words how I feel about it at times.”
Mr Jeffery said it was important to get the word out for people to become organand tissue donors so others in his shoes can also have the best chance at recovery.
Another organ recipient Anne Meister, from the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie West, has organised the DonateLife Week event for the past five years.
“The key message we are trying to get out to people is to encourage them to become donors and very importantly have the discussion with family so they know of the decision,” she said.