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Hip to be Donors

Bill and Joan
Two years later, their gift has improved the quality of life of over 23 people

In little over a year, Bill and his family members were faced with the difficult decision of choosing to donate bone and soft tissue on not one, but three occasions. Each time, they rose above their own pain making the noble decision to donate so that some good may come from their otherwise unfortunate situation.

When Bill's healthy 17 year old grandson became the victim of a fatal motor vehicle accident, his family generously agreed to donate his long bones and soft tissue. Two years later, their gift has improved the quality of life of over 23 people requiring complex orthopaedic surgery.

Bill and his partner, Joan were made aware of the activities of the Perth Bone and Tissue Bank after attending an arthritis education session where femoral head donation was discussed. When Joan was admitted to hospital following a fall, she was advised hip replacement surgery was necessary. Recalling the earlier education session, she enquired with nursing staff as to whether she would be suitable to participate in the femoral head donation program. After thorough health screening, she successfully donated her femoral head for future use in another patient's orthopaedic surgery.

Several months after Joan's surgery, Bill also found himself requiring hip replacement. He did not hesitate in agreeing to donate, making him the 10,000th West Australian to donate his femoral head.

Nicky Burton