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After Tragically Losing Their 20-Year-Old Son, This Maltese Couple Is Now Supporting Organ Donors’ Families

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Three years ago, in the summer of 2016, Drew Abela passed away after suffering a brain haemorrhage at the young age of 20 years old. Back in 1996, Drew’s parents Kenneth and Sharon had registered as organ donors, but the last thing they could imagine at the time was having to register again… this time on behalf of their son.

drew

After Drew was admitted to hospital, the doctors soon told his parents that there was no chance he would make it out alive.

Sharon quickly brought up the point that they should donate his organs, something they had previously discussed as a family and definitely spoke to the altruistic side of Drew.

After his death, seven of Drew’s organs were sent off to people who needed them.

However, the process of organ harvesting was quite a difficult one.

The time slot between giving consent for donating and the maximum date by when the organs can be harvested is very short, and the process doesn’t allow much time for emotional healing or guidance. Sharon and Kenneth also had to deal with an ordeal where the death certificate seemed to have been ‘lost in transit’ and they were left in the dark as to when the body would be released for burial.

Because of this, Sharon and Kenneth have set up the ‘Life After Drew’ campaign in collaboration with the Transplant Support Group

Drew and Bobbie

Drew with his sister Bobbie when they were younger

“Be a hero, become a donor”

Inspired by Drew’s love for the DC character Batman, Life After Drew is encouraging people to become ‘real life heroes’ by registering as organ donors.

Other than campaigning to increase the number of donors in Malta, Life After Drew aims to educate the public on the importance of donation as well as offer support. They will be offering support to anyone who had any form of relation to organ donors; those planning on donating, families of deceased donors and donor recipients.

Transplant Support Group highlight all of this with their latest video, a short clip loaded with deep imagery

Everything from the initials on the books’ spines to the colours of flowers used (white and red, representing purity and blood, but also coming together to form the colours of the Maltese flag) echoes the importance for people to join organisations that can be of vital help to people who need it the most.

To learn more about Life After Drew, click here, and visit the Transplant Support Group website to learn more about organ donation.

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