Organ and Tissue Authority
  • Home >
  • Book of Life >
  • Mr Darcy's generous act of love

Mr Darcy's generous act of love

I hope his example will inspire others to talk to their family and register as donors

Terry was a decent family man, a fine lawyer and a respected politician. In 2007 when he died of heart failure while cycling at Red Hill. He was an ACT Supreme Court Judge. He didn't expect to die and had much to live for. His daughters Lara and Maddy turned 15 and 14 years old two and five days later, and it would have been his 50th Birthday on Valentine's Day 2008, and soon after his 20th Wedding Anniversary.

Terry and his wife Helen discussed and agreed a few years earlier that they would be organ and tissue donors and placed their names on the register. They believed it was something (like mutual wills) that they should do as responsible partners and parents.

Helen said that 'the donation of Terry's corneas improved the life of another person who was in pain. As I said at his funeral, Terry had the most soulful brown eyes, my own Mr Darcy. The recipient of his corneas appreciates them as a priceless gift, but also as a modest one, because it didn't save lives. His tangible generosity gave our family some sense of meaning for his death, and our decisions were made more easily, as we knew his wishes.We drew strength from the fact that his death followed his optimistic approach to life: he made a positive difference to individuals and society at local, national and international levels.'

'Many people have asked if there is anything practical they can do to honour Terry's memory - I hope his example will inspire others to talk to their family and register as donors, if they feel that it is the right decision for them to make. Talking openly about this special issue is not depressing - it's an act of love.'

Nicky Burton