Ben Wiseman

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Tim Lamberton

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Samantha Pang

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Stephen Williams

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Matthew Windebank

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Ben Wiseman

Ben Wiseman

Our son, Ben Wiseman was born on 8th December 1977. He weighed 900 grams and was about the size of litre milk carton. He spent the first three months of his life in hospitals and it was a joyous day when we finally brought him home.

Ben was a fun loving boy who was adored by his extended family and reciprocated the love he was shown. After leaving school he decided that he would like to become a nurse. He went to Latrobe University in Wodonga, Victoria. We thought this was a good omen as this was where he was born.

After two years he returned to Canberra and began work as a personal carer in a dementia unit and a high care unit at two nursing homes. He was very good at his job and enjoyed working with the old people.

In 2001 Ben had a seizure. He was on medication for epilepsy but being a typical 23 year male he wasn’t very strict on the taking his tablets. He was resuscitated and rushed to Canberra Hospital.

When Ben was officially declared brain dead on 3rd September 2001, after very rigorous testing, the subject of organ donation was raised by the doctor. We had seen the poster in the waiting room of the ICU highlighting organ donation and we agreed to donate his organs. The organ donor coordinator then came and discussed the procedures with us.

We decided to donate Ben’s organs as it wouldn’t seem to be such a waste of his young life. The ICU staff where wonderful, they not only cared for Ben in the most compassionate way but showed every kindness and sympathy to us, his family and friends. For instance one of the staff asked Marguerite if she would like to help give Ben a wash. She will always be grateful to the staff member for giving her that final opportunity.

The doctors flew in from Melbourne and Sydney to retrieve the organs which went to recipients in both those states. They came and explained to us what would be happening with Ben. Again the doctors could not have been kinder or more compassionate. The organ donor coordinator assured us that she would stay with Ben whilst he was in the operating theatre and that she would look after him.

Afterwards we were able to say our final goodbyes to Ben.

Donating Ben’s organs helped us with the grief we felt at the time of his death. Since then we have heard from two of the recipients and it was a comfort for us to know that a person was able to see their first grandchild and a young man is now able to live a full life.

We have become involved with the organ donor awareness program and have seen first hand many examples of how organ donation has given people a second chance at life.