Donor Hero: Peter Robson
by Jackie Robson
March 15th 2016 will forever be etched into our memory as the saddest day of our lives. That was the day we were informed that my husband of 34 years and dad to our 3 children was not going to make it.
It started Sunday morning March 13th, 2016 when Pete got up, felt fine and then complained that he couldn’t see properly. I replied it’s probably the red wine you consumed last night!
We arrived at the Flinders Hospital feeling incredibly positive but a number of hours later we heard the words that would change our lives forever.
‘Catastrophic brain bleed’ and ‘he is not going to make it’ followed by ‘there is nothing we can do’. We sat there in shock.
It was on the Monday morning when we were carefully and respectfully approached about the prospect of donating Pete’s organs during a sit down with one of the incredible ICU doctors. We unanimously agreed that that’s what he would have wanted to do, and we were happy to make the decision on his behalf. There was no hesitation.
We were comforted by the nurses, doctors and Donate Life staff throughout and told that at any time it became too hard, and we couldn’t continue, then we just had to say the word, and everything would stop. But in our minds if he could do what he was doing, in giving his life to others, as was his wish, then the least we could do was stick it out with him.
On March 16th 2016 Pete donated both kidneys and his liver to three deserving individuals and his pancreas was utilised for islet cell transplantation.
Unfortunately, being so tall meant that despite his lungs being in great condition, they were too long for any potential recipient and that in itself was another quirky moment which Pete would have also found amusing.
We took comfort in knowing that someone had just received the most incredible news in a long-awaited phone call and their life, and the lives of their families were going to change forever, and they could now be excited about their future. This made an incredibly difficult time for my family that little bit easier knowing the difference we were making.
We are a close-knit family and Pete truly was the centre of our world. We miss him every day and the world has lost a truly empathetic, humorous, caring individual who would do anything for his family and friends.
From Jackie, Calum, Mel, Celia and Blythe Robson and Josh Kelly