Colleen Fuller with her son, Jaydon, 8, who had a liver transplant as a baby and otherwise would not be here today.
Colleen Fuller with her son, Jaydon, 8, who had a liver transplant as a baby and otherwise would not be here today. Alistair Brightman

Jaydon's a real inspiration

ALMOST every day Colleen Fuller thinks about a family she has never met.

The Torquay mum would love to meet the heartbroken parents whose ultimate gesture eight years ago made her world.

That’s when she discovered her six-week-old son Jaydon was not the healthy bub he appeared.

Serious liver problems were diagnosed and after initial surgery was unsuccessful, Jaydon was placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant.

“He had to wait for three months but that isn’t long,” Ms Fuller said.

“He was lucky because he has a rare blood type and was able to receive any organ. You just hope it comes before he crashes.”

Now aged eight, Jaydon is a Year 2 pupil at Fraser Coast Anglican College’s prep school, where his mum works as a teacher’s aide.

Jaydon is one of the rea-ife beneficiaries of the Australian Organ Donor Register, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

Since its inception 13,753 Hervey Bay residents have registered. In Maryborough 5204 donors have signed up, with 1389 in Childers and 1067 in Tiaro.

Statistics show that 78 per cent of adult Australians are willing to be organ and tissue donors, but fewer than half of these have registered their decision.

In 2009, 247 people donated to 799 recipients, and there were 850 transplanted organs.

Side effects and health issues have been a major part of Jaydon’s young life.

“He’s been brilliant,” says his mum, who adores his scar as a precious reminder of the life-saving gift he received.

“Without it I wouldn’t have him any longer. It’s a real joy. The scar reminds me of everything that’s happened.”

Ms Fuller also wrote a poem titled “When I see your scar” which she sent to the transplant co-ordinators to forward to the donor family.

She has never heard back and she understands why but she still hopes to connect with them some day to say thanks.

Giving the gift:  Our region’s registered donors

Hervey Bay 13,753

Maryborough 5204

Isis 1389

Tiaro 1067

Woocoo 690

Gayndah 455

Biggenden 224

Bundaberg 9843

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