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Matthew Brown’s final gift was his heart

12.12.2018, 苏州夜生活, by .

Heart was Matt’s final gift | Photos Matthew Brown, who was killed in February in a motorbike crash.
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SOLACE: Christine and Russell Brown, whose son Matthew was killed in a motorbike crash in February, and their daughter Michelle. Matthew’s organs were donated to five people. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

SOLACE: Christine and Russell Brown, whose son Matthew was killed in a motorbike crash in February. Matthew’s organs were donated to five people. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

SOLACE: Christine and Russell Brown, whose son Matthew was killed in a motorbike crash in February, and their daughter Michelle. Matthew’s organs were donated to five people. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Matthew Brown, who was killed in February in a motorbike crash.

Matthew Brown, who was killed in February in a motorbike crash, and his pug Gemini.

TweetFacebookWHENMatthew Brown came off his motorbike at Eastern Creek on a stinking hot dayinFebruarywith hisfather Russell watching inthe stands,his family beganthe worst 48 hours of their liveswith a single comfort.

In the weeks before the accidentMatthew, 34,had done things he’d never done, or hadn’t for ages. He’d gonekayaking with his dad, sorted out his will,entered his pug Gemini in a dog show (which she won).

He’dtold his mother Christine, firmly, that he wanted todonate his organs if he died.

“He’d always riddenbikes since he was a little boy. The person who got his heart, they got a perfectly strong heart,” Mr Brown said.

“Matthew had a massive heart.”

The Sunday he came off his Suzukiat 180 kilometres anhour,Eastern Creek hadfelt like the hottest place in the country. Matthew and Russell had journeyed down from the family home in Medowie, where Russellteased his son and daughterMichelle, 37, that he’d neverget rid of them.

Matthew had a conversation withhis dad in pit lane, the last one, mostly jokes.Then he took off.

“We had a phone call from Dad saying Matthew’s had a fall, and not knowing if he’d survive,” Michelle said.

“We rushed down to Sydney and he’d just come out of surgery. Then [Organ donation body] DonateLife asked if we intended on donating his organs.”

And as Matthew drifted through the final hours of his life, which ended soon after doctors told the Browns the blood had stopped flowing to his brain, organ recipients were being lined up to receive his kidneys, pancreas, liver and heart.

The Browns gave staff at Westmead Hospital theirinstructions, in line with Matthew’s wishes, for his organs to be harvested.It brought themsolace, Mrs Brown said, staved off a bit of the helpless feeling.

“It kept our minds ticking over all the time,” she said.

“I think everyone should have the conversation with their loved ones, while they can. It’s not that hard.”

The Brownsdidn’t agree to everything; they didn’t donate Matthew’s eyes.

Hisorgans were taken and transplanted inside five people.

His chest was flat when his family saw him again, his father noticed, not caved in. There were signs of a cut.

Speaking on Friday near the end of DonateLife Week, the annual drive for more people to register as donors, the Browns had just been forwardeda letter from the family of a12-year-old boy whohad receivedMatthew’s liver.

“You have saved another person’s life,” it read, “our little brother and son.”

People can register to donate their organs by visitingregister.donatelife.gov.au.

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