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Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Page: 9055

Mr JOHNSON (4:18 PM) —I wish to pay tribute to and commend a constituent of the Ryan electorate, Mr John Peacock. Mr Peacock lives in the suburb of Fig Tree Pocket in the western suburbs of Brisbane, a beautiful part of the Ryan electorate. I want to pay tribute to him because he participated and competed in the 11th Australian Transplant Games in Perth last week. He did so because he was inspired to make a difference after being told that he was in need of a liver transplant. He has had a successful liver transplant and is making a contribution to those who are desperately in need of organ transplants.

At 51 years of age, John Peacock was a healthy, successful businessman. Yet in 2005 he was diagnosed with severe liver disease and told that his life was in real jeopardy unless he got a liver transplant. I want to quote an article from the Westside News, our local newspaper in the western suburbs, because it highlights very successfully to all the people who live in the western suburbs of Brisbane how important this issue is. In the article Mr Peacock is quoted as saying:

 After three to four months of treatment I was advised I had ‘end stage’ liver disease and would require a transplant …

My life slowly degenerated into a living nightmare, I was fluid restricted, yet suffered from severe ‘dry mouth’, and I hardly slept battling fatigue and massive fluid retention.

…            …            …

As time went on I slowly became weaker and eventually I became so ill I needed help with simple day-to-day tasks. I lost over a third of my body weight and was close to death when I got ‘the call’.

And ‘the call’, of course, was the miracle call from the health authorities advising him he was one of the lucky ones. I say ‘one of the lucky ones’ because in this country we have a great challenge to try to increase the donor rates for transplant recipients. I have some figures here that I want to share with the House and particularly with the constituents of the western suburbs, including the Ryan electorate, to try to encourage them to consider being a donor. In Australia, on 2007 figures, we have nine donors per million of population. Compare this to Spain, which leads the world, with 34 per million of population. So in 2007 we had 198 donors in total, compared to Spain with 1,550. So I say to all those who live in the western suburbs of Brisbane, in the Ryan electorate, please consider this incredible gesture. It is a source of life for those who might need it.