THE GIFT OF LIFE JERSEY DAY 2019

back row: Tammy Prestage, Aaron Blackburn, Annelise Conte, Mitchell Simpson, Maddison Moog front row: Darcy Newcomb, Charli Orsini, Darren, Cody and Simone Tickell, Michael Dell’Aquila, Jayne Campbell

It was an emotional day at Marian Catholic College when the Tickell family joined the Jersey Day school assembly.

Blake Tickell, 13, was a student at the Kenthurst school and an Australian junior waterski champion when he died after a competition in December 2017. His parents, Darren and Simone, made the decision at the hospital to have his organs transplanted.

On Jersey day 2019 Darren Tickell spoke to his son’s school about 14-year-old Oliver who is now alive because he received Blake’s lungs in a transplant. The Western Australian teenager was one of six people given the gift of life by Blake’s organs.

Mr Tickell told the Hills to Hawkesbury News that every day was hard since the accident. “Blakey had been involved in Jersey Day at school and we had discussed what Jersey Day was about. We raised organ donation with the hospital. Every organ in Blakey’s body was fit and it was important that people got the benefit of that.”

He said the family received letters of thanks from the recipients and then were put in touch with Oliver via social media. He had a rare lung disease and his family were told that without a lung transplant he wouldn’t see that Christmas 2017.

“Oliver is now back at school and playing sport and has the chance of a healthy life,” he said. “It’s a comforting experience to that Blakey has given a chance of life to six other people.”

Blake’s younger brother Cody is a student at Marian College. Marian College Captain Michael Dell’Aquila said it was an emotional day but everyone supported each other and talked about organ donation.

“Mr Tickell’s speech inspired the conversation in all of us, Blake has saved lives,” he said.

There was an Interhouse Oztag Competition for both juniors and seniors in the week leading up to Jersey Day.

“It really brought attention to organ donation awareness throughout the entire week,” said Michael.

To register to be an organ donor or to find out more about organ donation visit donatelife.gov.au