Live organ donation

Information about donating a kidney or part of a liver, the financial assistance available for eligible live donors, including backdated compensation payments.

Compensation available for live organ donors

Donation of a kidney or part of a liver can significantly improve the duration and quality of life for many people. Removing barriers to live organ donation is important to help people get the transplant they need.

In this video Ministry of Health employee Grant Pittams shares his story of donating a kidney to long time friend Georgina Beyer. From 5 December 2017 people who donate a kidney or part of their liver will be entitled to compensation for loss of earnings for up to 12 weeks while they recover following donation surgery.

Title: A gift of hope - Georgina Beyer & Grant Pittams

[Grant Pittams sitting at the beach]

[Grant] What happened was that I saw a friend who was desparately in need, in this case of a kidney transplant.

So what I was able to do was provide some hope.

So I got in touch with Georgina. We went through a very extensive assessment process which has led to, so far a totally successful transplant.

Wellington Hospital assigned a co-ordinator and we met a number of times and talked quite a lot.

The co-ordinator was able to answer and lot of questions and the co-ordinator was supportive, helpful and he was very much there when I needed him.

And I thought that was extremely effective relationship.

[Grant walks along the beach]

The surgery was much less than I expected, so I was only in Auckland Hospital for 48 hours. I then stayed in Auckland for another 2 to 3 days before returning home and I was back at work 10 days after that.

[Grant continues walking along the beach]

I had what I would describe as normal post-surgery, you're tired, your body is recovering. But I felt very very good. The care was excellent, I was well looked after and I was able to return to work very quickly.

The magic moment was seeing Georgina get out of the car when she came and visited after the surgery. The old Georgina that I knew which was a strong, vibrant person was back. Someone who I hadn't seen for several years. That was the magic moment.

[Title: Five months after surgery...]

[Georgina] Oh, well it was out of the blue I can put it that way.

And he just essentially put it to me.

[Grant is greeted by Georgina at her house. Grant walks inside the door.]

[Grant] Hello Georgie!

[Georgina] He just sort of said, "You and I both had a few friends who have passed away recently and you know, mutual people that we know and I've made a decision that I'd like to donate my kidney to you".

I promptly sat there and howled and cried it was incredible, you know I really can't sort of put it into words the sort of wave of emotion that went through me.

[Grant and Georgina sitting on the couch together]

[Grant] What this is about is hope. Something I've said, lots and lots and lots of times. So people said to me "Oh you're a hero" and I said "No, I'm not, I've simply done something that anyone could do and should do for someone that they knew well and cared for".

[Georgina] There are no words that can cover, I think the range of emotion you feel when someone makes a gift like that. And of course its life saving.

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