"the gift of life"

Did you know?

  • Every 16 minutes a new name is added to the organ transplant waiting list.
  • One donation of organs and tissues can provide 7 people with life saving organs and 20 people with quality enhancing tissues.
  • Each day about 57 people world wide receive organ transplants, while 13 die waiting for a possible gift of life.

Approximately five decades ago the first successful kidney transplant was performed, and twenty years later the first heart transplant. Since then medical technology has advanced to the point that 57 people daily receive successful organ/tissue transplants.

Who can become a donor?

Any person of any age may donate any/all of their organs or tissues, but suitability is determined at the time of death, with minors needing their parental or guardian's consent.

Which organs are suitable for donation/transplants?

Heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas and intestines.

Which tissue are suitable for donation/transplants?

Cornea, skin, bonemarrow, heart valves, connective tissue.

What will my organs/tissues be used for?

Following medical testing all organs and tissues will be utilized for human transplantation or therapy. If not suitable, the organs and tissues may be used for research or education.

Why are organs not so freely available?

  • Low rate of organ donation.
  • Failure to notify organ donation agencies.
  • Refusal by families to donate a loved one's organs.

Why do I need to make a decision today?

  • Death is usually unexpected and in a time of grieving it is difficult to deal with issues of organ donation. To assist your relatives in making this important decision, it is of the utmost importance to discuss and notify family members of your intentions and possibly add such requests in your will.
  • Organ donation has only a small window of time (between 6 and 24 hours) during which an organ can be maintained outside the body.
  • Factors such as distance of the recipient, compatability of tissue, condition of recipient, require a speedy decision for "the gift of life" to be given.

Other important facts to remember:

  • No organs may be sold. The recipient will cover all costs related to the donation eg medical aid.
  • Organs are distributed according to blood and tissue, typing, medical urgency, time on waiting list and geographical location.
  • Organ donation DOES NOT disfigure the body and will not interfere with funeral arrangements. Donors may specify possible recipients of their organs.
  • Any person may revoke his/her decision to donate organs or tissues at any time.