Organ Donor Champion Receives Life Saving Donation
At just 19 years of age, Matthew Legemaate is taking on organ donor awareness in South Africa. While spending several years waiting for his own life saving heart and double lung transplant, Matthew has been campaigning tirelessly to draw attention to the need for organ donation in South Africa.
When he was just 13 years old, Durban born Matthew was placed on oxygen permanently and listed for a heart and bi-lateral lung transplant, because he had been a congenital heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallots and severe pulmonary atresis and had his first of many open heart surgeries at 36 hours of age.
Fast forward to present day, and this hero has finally received his life saving organs and is recovering well. The power of a single organ donor cannot be underestimated! Read the emotional Facebook notification below, in which Matthew's team share the great news:
"Matthew has recovered well – in fact the doctors have described Matthew’s recovery from the difficult and complex operation as “spectacular”. We are delighted to share that yesterday (Wed 8th Nov) Matthew was discharged from hospital to continue his recovery at home. (This will take between 3 and 6 months.) This was only possible because of a “Gift of Life” from an angel donor and the decision made by the donor’s family to donate their organs. Matthew has a future because of this and the chance to fulfill the plans he believes God has for him."
The family goes on to express their gratitude to the team of doctors and medical staff who worked to ensure the safe and successful transplant. Lead by Mr Robbie Kleinloog, the operation took 11 hours to compete. Their thanks also goes to the coordinator, Cindy Goldie, all the staff of Busamed Gateway Private Hospital and particularly the staff of the SICU 1 unit were tireless in their care and support of Matthew and the whole family.
This whole experience has shown us again what an incredible, life changing gift, organ donation is. Matthew was asked how he felt when he left hospital and he said: “I no longer feel sick, I can breathe, I feel that I can do everything that I hoped to do.” During the next few weeks we hope to share more information about this period in Matthew’s journey. We will do this because Matthew’s transplant has made us, as a family, even more determined to help other people in South Africa who need a lifesaving transplant.
Please join us and help us help the many people in South Africa who still need an organ or tissue transplant. Encourage your friends and family to talk about organ donation, to register if they have not already.