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Jonah ‘optimistic’ for an early transplant

Jonah ‘optimistic’ for an early transplant

Press reports that Jonah Lomu could be in line for a Kidney transplant as early as in four months is being ‘optimistic’ says campaign for a better organ donation system Promoter, Andy Tookey.

“ I feel for Jonah being in this position as rugby is his life, I hope he gets his transplant and gets back into rugby, as it would show everyone how dramatic a transplant can be in restoring a person to a full and normal life”.

Mr. Tookey has asked the Parliamentary Health Select Committee to consider giving compensation to people who are prepared to be live Kidney donors for family members.

“The number of cadaver organ donors last year was just 38. We need to increase the number of live donors to help the 1600 people who are currently on dialysis. The main obstacle is that family members would like to help by donating their Kidney but they have to either lose their jobs, or come to an arrangement with their employer to give up work for several months to recuperate. With mortgages and bills to pay, who can afford to do that”?

Mr. Tookey wants the government to compensate those people for loss of earnings for the time off they will need and to cover other costs like medications needed. “I am not asking for a ‘reward’ as we could go down the slippery slope of ‘organs for sale’ but neither should we expect people to lose their jobs or savings to help out”. “After all these people are saving the government money, It costs around $50,000 a year to keep someone on dialysis, and many are on dialysis for three, four or even five years. A transplant costs a one off $70,000 with minimum ongoing costs afterwards, and these people post transplant will go back to being productive, tax paying members of society”.

Mr. Tookey hopes that Jonah Lomu will help in making the public more aware of the organ donation shortage in New Zealand. The Health Select Committee are currently deliberating after hearing evidence from ‘Givelife’ Promoter Andy Tookey and the Ministry of Health.

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