Grateful: Magistrate Brian Maloney now needs a liver. Photo: Jacky Ghossein The sun was shining, his beloved Sydney Roosters had flogged NRL grand finalists the Bulldogs 38-nil the night before, and magistrate Brian Maloney could not wipe the smile off his face.
”What a great day to have a heart transplant,” he said as his wife drove him across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was Saturday, April 13, and he was on his way to St Vincent’s Hospital.
That morning, he had received a life-changing phone call: ”We have a possible donor, could you please come in sometime in the next two hours?” He was there in just one.
The phone call had floored the usually ebullient magistrate. ”My god. It’s happening now,” was all he could think. ”You don’t jump around like you’ve had a lotto win.”
His wife, Melody, the mother of his two young children, added: ”It was just surreal.”
For more than a year, he had known that the ”familial amyloid polyneuropathy” he was born with could take his life. The genetic disorder meant his liver had for his whole life been gradually emitting a defective form of a common protein, infecting the nervous system.
”Everything gets attacked, fingers, toes, everything, but where it really smashes is your heart,” he said.
The man who only two years ago fought for his job was now in a fight for his life. The only cure for his condition was a liver transplant, but Mr Maloney’s heart was so badly affected it needed to be replaced first.
After a rigorous six months of medical tests and procedures, he was told: ”You’re on the list.” It was the best news he had received since the NSW Parliament voted in October last year not to dismiss him from the bench, following an adverse report by the conduct division of the judicial commission. That, he now says, pales against what he’s come through.
The five-hour surgery was a success, and within a couple of days, Mrs Maloney described the joy of seeing his colour return, courtesy of the new heart pumping blood around his body with renewed vigour.
Last year 354 organ donors
gave 1052 people a new chance at life – the highest rate of donations recorded in Australia – but it’s not nearly enough.
Mr Maloney intends to write to the donor’s family and somehow find the words to express his gratitude to such ”a gracious family” that permitted the donation.
He will soon begin the process to prepare for a liver transplant, and hopes to return to work full time next month.
He said friends, colleagues, family and his wife had got him through a seemingly insurmountable few months. ”This girl,” he said looking at his wife, ”without her, I don’t know what I would have done. We have a similar attitude, we don’t give up, we don’t give in.”
That, his new heart, and the fact the Roosters are perched high on the NRL ladder means life is looking pretty good right now.Dire needOne donor can transform the lives of 10 or more people.About 1600 people in Australia are on transplant waiting lists.Last year, 354 organ donors gave 1052 people a new chance at life.Less than 60per cent of families allow donations, and 44per cent of people don’t know the donation wishes of loved ones. donatelife.gov.au
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.