You may not know Gordon Rutty, but by the end of this story, he may be responsible for you deciding to save the life of someone you’ve never met by signing up to be an organ donor. At the age of 50, Gordon Rutty donated his kidney to a stranger, saving their life. It is his hope that, through his work with Transplant Australia, you too will consider organ donation.
Gordon Rutty was moved to become an organ donor after losing a close friend to cancer. He decided to take things one step further and become a living donor, offering a non-essential organ to a complete stranger in an ultimate act of altruism. As part of his work with Transplant Australia, he wants to dispel some of the myths that surround organ donation. Despite the fact that majority of Australians surveyed are willing to become organ and tissue donors, few actually do so. It is also a lesser known fact that even when one signs up to become a donor, less than 1% of donors will die in a situation that will allow them to ever make that donation.
You do not have to go as far as Gordon Rutty did, but you can still save a life.
Right now in Australia there are 1,600 people waiting for an organ. In reality, there are many ways a person can step up besides or in addition to donating an organ. Gordon Rutty has volunteered extensively, and has dedicated time to working with children. Through sponsorship and donations, he once flew ten transplant kids to the Dubbo Zoo for an Ultimate Kids Sleepover. The kids were able to experience a live giraffe feeding and night time adventure walk. It is through the hard work of volunteers such as Gordon Rutty as well the donations from generous Australians that this was able to happen.
Getting involved, either through volunteering, donating money or becoming a donor yourself is an act that can improve someone’s life in ways that you cannot imagine. Gordon Rutty did not personally meet his organ recipient, but he still got to know that he saved a life: “The person my kidney went to was married with children, they had spent the last five years on dialysis, hooked up to a machine. It was great to get that, it is an incredible feeling and very rewarding to know you have been able to give someone a better life, and potentially given them more life.’’