TRANSPLANT SUCCESS: Mount Gambier resident Kimberly Telford and family was congratulated on a successful surgery by Health Minister Stephen Wade, Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell and Professor Toby Coates. Ms Telford was the first patient in South Australia to undergo a kidney and pancreas transplant at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital after suffering with Type 1 diabetes for 16 years.
INDEPENDENT MP Troy Bell said he hopes Mount Gambier double-transplant recipient Kimberley Telford’s success story will inspire more South Australians to sign up for organ donation.
Earlier this year, Mrs Telford was the first patient in South Australia to undergo a kidney and pancreas transplant at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) after suffering with Type 1 diabetes for 16 years.
After highlighting her story in a motion to State Parliament during Donate Life Week, Mr Bell said he was pleased to see Kimberley doing well and back home with her family.
“It’s incredible to see how much Kimberley’s life has changed in just a few short months - she’s an inspiration to many,” Mr Bell said.
“Without illness and dialysis being a constant presence in her life, the Telford family are now able to share a family Christmas together and plan for the future.”
Following her transplant operation, Mrs Telford has become a strong advocate for organ donation, urging more South Australians to register.
Mr Bell supported Mrs Telford’s stance, saying this year he had called on the State Government to investigate the effectiveness of “opt out” legislation to boost SA’s organ donation rates.
“It’s a fact that less than 2pc of people who die in hospital will be able to donate their organs and a successful transplant depends on all the factors matching up perfectly,” he said.
“A larger pool of donors will mean a greater chance of that occurring. However, any legislation in this area should be very carefully considered and I believe there is the opportunity to have a wider debate on this subject with experts in the field.”
Mr Bell said he had written to Health Minister Stephen Wade seeking an update on his successful motion.
Meeting the RAH medical staff behind Kimberley’s double-transplant last week, Mr Bell praised the transplant team, led by Professor Toby Coates.
“The RAH is just the third hospital in the nation performing this type of surgery so in this area we have a world class team operating right here in South Australia,” Mr Bell said.
“I hope reading Kimberley’s story inspires more South Australians to take five minutes out of their day and sign up for the Australian Organ Donation Register.
“It is a decision which may positively impact the lives of up to eight other people at a time of need.”
Visit www.humanservices.gov.au to sign up at the Australian Organ Donor Registry.