More women tick ‘yes’

Gift of life . . . Kelvin Jackson, who gave his sister Anita Lloyd one of his kidneys, visits her in Outram on Monday. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

More women than men in Dunedin have indicated they are willing to give their organs if they die.

NZ Transport Agency data reveals more women than men are indicating “yes” to organ donation on their driver’s licence in Dunedin, Otago and New Zealand, despite, collectively, holding fewer licences.

Of the 90,449 motorists holding a driver’s licence in Dunedin at the end of June this year, 63.4% had indicated “yes” to organ donation.

Of those 57,338 Dunedin motorists indicating “yes”, 52.6% were women.

More women indicated “yes” in Dunedin, despite men holding 185 more licences.

The trend was the same provincially and nationally.

Of the nearly 110,000 motorists who indicated “yes” in Otago, 51.4% were women, despite men in Otago holding nearly 4300 more licences.

Of the more than two million motorists who indicated “yes” in New Zealand, 51.9% were women, despite New Zealand men holding nearly 69,000 more licences.

Kelvin Jackson said he indicated “yes” on his driver’s licence and urged other men to follow suit.

When his sister Anita Lloyd needed a kidney, he offered her one of his.

Mrs Lloyd, of Outram, said she had had four kidney transplants since 1981 and the first three were taken from deceased donors.

She had the first kidney for a couple of months, the second for a couple of years and the third for 28 years.

Each time, a worn valve in the kidney had caused the organ to fail.

She has had her brother’s kidney for more than three years.

“Kelvin’s very humble about it but he saved my life,” she said.

“He acts like it’s nothing but it’s huge and not a lot of people would do it.”

Transplant procedures had improved “in leaps and bounds” since the early 1980s and the risk posed to a living person donating a kidney had reduced dramatically, she said.

Due to an organ shortage, if a living person was willing to donate a kidney, it would result in a recipient getting an organ more quickly.

Mr Jackson, of Arrowtown, said he felt no difference since having a kidney removed in Christchurch in June 2015.

He encouraged more men to indicate “yes” to organ donation on their licence and for everyone to talk to their families about their wishes.

“Just do it. You’re helping someone else out.”