Three minutes, to save a life. Possibly seven lives.
That’s how long it takes to sign up as an organ donor. To ensure that one day, you may give the give of life.
Luigi Te Roller, aged 50, is a loving husband to Angela, and a doting father to daughters Madison and Damica.
But his clock his ticking. He has only 14% heart capacity left, after suffering a massive heart attack. He is on a waiting list, for a heart transplant.
So this week, we are mobilising our families, friends, colleagues and networks, to drive this message home:
Please register as an organ donor. Please, please, please.
These are Luigi’s words:
“To me, I don’t believe that there’s a higher honour … that after you’ve gone, after you’ve used up your body there is nothing left, you have died: What an honour it would be to be able to give life on to somebody else.
“If you’re an organ donor, one person can save up to seven people’s lives. But you can also help up to an additional 50 people, to get through their struggles.”
His own reality is stark: “I need a heart. I need to continue living. I love life. I love my wife. I love my family. I need a heart.”
Since his devastating medical condition began, he has signed up as an organ donor himself.
He had realised, personally, the need to register: “The actual question should be: Why are you not an organ donor to me?”
Every day Luigi continues to live, is a blessing. But the waiting is tortuous.
“Look, it’s tough. After my heart attack, and after went through the whole process of getting listed on to the heart waiting list, they basically they told us that 90% of the time the phone call will come between hoppers one and say three o’clock in the morning.
”That’s when most of the motorbike accidents or drunk driving incidents … that’s when it happens. I have to be two-and-a-half hours away from the hospital.
“And so the result is I that I lie awake until half-past-two, three o’clock every night. And when the call doesn’t come, that’s when I realize, again, we’ve got another day, we’ve got one more struggle to get through.
“And that’s been going on for now for two years and just over two years and seven months. My heart functionality has fallen down to just over 14%. It’s a struggle. It’s difficult. The waiting, the mind games that’s what’s that’s what plays on a person …”
While Luigi waits, and waits, he is honoured to have his wife, Angela, by his side:
“My wife and I are on this incredible journey together. We’ve been married for 27 years and she’s on it as much as what I am. It’s rough. It’s tough. It’s tough on the kids.
“But if I can, in some way, influence people to become organ donors, become an inspiration or inspire somebody else to find the courage to continue with their struggles, it’s all worth it.
“Let’s get it done.”
· On Friday February 25, Murray Williams will ride a 13km route, in the shape of a heart, around the heart of Somerset West – and visit every business, church, school, office and shop on the route, to spread awareness about the Organ Donor Foundation.
· On Sunday, February 27, Luigi, Angela, Murray and Dylan Evans will personally invite friends to ride, run or walk one 13km lap, or a few, or all eight laps, making up a 100km #Ride4AHeart – in solidarity with this life-saving cause.
· Contact Murray on cell 082 338 79 38 for more information.
· To register as an organ donor, visit www.odf.mobi