Father's priceless gift
BALLINA men Blake and Terry Seymour joke about a round of golf they are soon to play.
But already, Blake, the self-confessed poorer player, is the winner. The game will be a celebration of the anniversary of the second time Terry was able to give life to his son.
On July 30 last year, Terry donated a kidney to Blake to allow him to live a 'normal' life without the need to be hooked up to a dialysis machine three times a week for about five hours at a time.
It was an easy decision for school teacher Terry, now aged 58, to donate the organ to his son. And one for which 29-year-old Blake will be forever grateful.
“I appreciate the great life I now have - I can do anything I want,” Blake said.
He surfs a few times a week, is working as the head chef at Ballina's riverfront restaurant Cafe 29, is getting married at the end of the year to fiancé of 18 months Emma Wagland and the pair plan to move overseas to work for a few years.
It's a freedom he said he wouldn't have if he had to rely on dialysis to do the job of his failing kidneys.
Blake was diagnosed in early 2003 with a chronic kidney disease, the cause of which is still unsure.
“I didn't know anything about it (the disease) and I was pretty worried about it,” he said. “As far as I knew, I didn't have a life left.”
Terry said organ donation was 'like a lottery' and Blake was the lucky winner. Terry's operation at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane took about five hours while Blake was in theatre for nearly eight hours.
Terry left the hospital after a week and has recovered fully.
Blake spent 10 days in hospital, and has now passed the 12-month danger period for rejection.
Both men said the experience had brought them closer together and made them strong advocates for organ donation.
To find out about becoming a donor: www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/public/services/aodr