A KZN teen who has been waiting on the transplant list for years has finally received his life saving organs.
Matthew Legemaate is an inspiration to many South Africans. He has spent his entire life fighting for his life. You can read his full and very detailed story here. Matthew was born with Tetralogy of Fallots and severe pulmonary atresia.
In his case he basically had a three (instead of the normal four) chambered heart and his pulmonary trunk, the artery taking the deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs, had a piece missing included the pulmonary valve and ended in a blind nipple.
Matthew and his family were told that at some point in his life he would need a heart and bi-lateral lung transplant. He has had multiple open heart surgeries but has confounded the doctors, surviving against amazing odds when things have not gone as expected, and through it all remained a fighter and positive individual.
At the age of 13 Matthew was placed on perminant oxygen and put onto the transplant list to await organ donation.
“When Matthew was put on the transplant list we didn’t initial think it was a big deal BUT then we started to do research and our world fell apart. We found that the number of people who the opportunity to have a transplant is a very small percentage.”
“Most don’t get this second chance so we decided as a family to try make a difference for ALL people waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. We wanted to try and help as many people as possible to get their second chance at life.”
As a family they decided to become advocates for organ donation and in 2015 they started a Facebook page to raise awareness about organ donations. Matthew’s life motto is “B Positive”. Matthew’s voice has been loud and he has raised so much awareness and inspired South Africans across SA.
Good news has made its way into the office and we have heard that Matthew has received a new heart and lungs. He is recovering well and the Facebook page has been sharing updates on his progress.
“Matthew has recovered well – in fact the doctors have described Matthew’s recovery from the difficult and complex operation as “spectacular”. We are delighted to share that yesterday (Wed 8th Nov) Matthew was discharged from hospital to continue his recovery at home. (This will take between 3 and 6 months.) This was only possible because of a “Gift of Life” from an angel donor and the decision made by the donor’s family to donate their organs. Matthew has a future because of this and the chance to fulfill the plans he believes God has for him.“
“This whole experience has shown us again what an incredible, life changing gift, organ donation is. Matthew was asked how he felt when he left hospital and he said: “I no longer feel sick, I can breathe, I feel that I can do everything that I hoped to do.” During the next few weeks we hope to share more information about this period in Matthew’s journey. We will do this because Matthew’s transplant has made us, as a family, even more determined to help other people in South Africa who need a lifesaving transplant.”
The family asks that you help them help the many people in South Africa who still need an organ or tissue transplant. The best way to do this is make your intentions known.
“Please encourage people to TALK about organ donation, REGISTER as an organ donor and SHARE your decision to do so.”
Below is an image of Matthew leaving the hospital. He also took the time to write his thoughts about the entire experence which was shared on the Hero 777 website. You can read it here.