Organ Transplant Speech

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My name is Kura MacDowell I am 26 years of age and I come Ngati Manawa tribe in Hamilton New Zealand. I am training to be a dance instructor. I am fit, and I am healthy but I have recently been blacking out at the end of long dance routines and feeling faint. I sometimes struggle to get enough breath to complete the class and feel exhausted by lunch time. Yesterday, on my doctor’s recommendation, I visited a heart specialist. They gave me the dreadful news that my heart might not survive to the end of the year. This means I will not survive, I need a heart transplant! "My people believe we come out whole and we have to be buried whole so any decision to donate organs is really hard. But those who have first-hand experience of the need for organ donation for themselves, family or friends understand how important it is. “ (Take a step back)

This is the story of one girl, who was lucky enough to receive one of the few heart transplants in New Zealand last year. Unlike many organ recipients Kura Mac Dowell has met the family of her donor. Newspaper publicity around her transplant was spotted by the donor's husband who put two and two together and made contact. I met him at the Thanksgiving Church Service they hold each year in Auckland for donor families and recipients. He touched my face to try and feel his wife through me. We hugged and he had a little cry. We’re still in touch and I send him copies of my x rays so that he can see his wife’s heart is still beating strongly. I can never thank this man enough, for his wife’s donation. I’m so grateful that he and his wife had spoken about organ donation and they knew each other’s wishes. Kura now regularly speaks about her experience to Māori health organisations and believes education is the key to securing more donors. There is an ever-growing demand for organ donation largely due to the increase in diseases such as diabetes . This is the most common cause of end stage Renal failure , it damages the...
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