Live organ donation guides and forms

Information about live organ donation including forms, guides and videos.

Donor information

The following resources are available in Māori, Samoan, Tongan and English:

  • Compensation for Live Organ Donors: Information pack
  • Information sheet.

You can download these resources in the Publications section: Compensation for Live Organ Donors: Information pack

Poster

Forms

Compensation for loss of earnings:

National travel assistance:

Booklets

Booklets from Live Kidney Donation Aotearoa:

Websites

Videos

A gift of hope – Georgina Beyer and Grant Pittams

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.

New compensation for live organ donors

From 5 December 2017, the Ministry of Health will provide compensation to live organ donors for loss of earnings after donating a kidney or part of a liver.  In this video Tony Stephens, the Donor Liaison Coordinator at Capital & Coast District Health Board, talks about the difference this compensation will make and how he and colleagues working in hospitals around the country can help donors apply for this compensation.

Title: New compensation for live organ donors

I’m a registered nurse and I’ve spent most of my nursing career in the renal field. I started this donor liaison coordinator role in June 2015.

Kidney transplants can really transform someone’s life so anything we can do to increase the number of transplants is going to be beneficial for the patients and their families and for society. So I’m part of a team that benefits patients and their families so that’s really important. It gets people off dialysis and allows them to lead a much more normal life if they have a transplant.

Dialysis is a lifesaving therapy but unfortunately it’s very time-consuming with some people spending up to 15 hours a week attached to a dialysis machine or some people spending 8 or 9 hours every night attached to a peritoneal dialysis machine. So this can add up to hundreds of hours easily every year so it’s very difficult for people to fit their normal activities of life around dialysis.

Potential donors will often ring me or get flagged up through other members of the renal service and I’ll speak with them or ideally meet them in person to ask them what their reasons are for wanting to be a donor, I’ll ask them about their health. I’ll explain about the testing process, surgery and recovery.

The tests are designed to keep the donor safe during the surgery so they can stay safe as well as we can tell for the rest of their lives with one kidney. So they’ll see nurses, doctors, anaesthetists, surgeons, psychologists – it’s a really rigorous testing process.

People do have to take time off for surgery and for the recovery.

The person usually spends three to four days in hospital and then goes home to recover and recuperate. Some people need a couple of weeks off work. Others need longer depending on how they are recovering and the kind of work they are doing. The donors have follow up after the surgery to make sure they’re healthy.

There’s going to be a new Act up and running by early December which will give donors 100 percent of their wage or salary so they can cope financially in their time off from work.

So the new Act will ensure that no donor is out of pocket by being a donor. They can just focus on being a donor rather than worrying about paying their mortgage or paying their rent.

There will be forms to fill out for the new compensation and we’ll be able to help donors fill out the forms correctly.

It’s a real privilege to work with donors through this process. And it’s a real privilege for me to see the love people have for their family members or someone in need and I find that the donors are so pleased when they can see or hear about the person in need getting better. And that makes it all worthwhile.

 

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