Shepparton teenager Kane Doncon died on Friday last week, but his donated organs are helping others to live.By John Lewis
Kane Doncon battled all his short life to be like other people, but in the end his greatest gift was to be different.
The Shepparton teenager was diagnosed at an early age with high frequency deafness, then Asperger syndrome.
In December last year, he was rushed to Melbourne suffering herpes simplex encephalitis, a rare brain infection.
It left him with further learning and social problems.
Adding to his hurdles, a scan revealed an inoperable brain aneurysm he may have had since birth.
Kane died on Friday morning last week at Royal Melbourne Hospital after an unsuccessful attempt to drain the aneurysm on Tuesday.
He was 16.
But his death has given the gift of life to others.
In the months before his operation, Kane saw a television advertisement about the importance of donating organs and tissue.
His aunty and full-time carer Lee McGlyn said Kane was inspired.
‘‘He said, ‘If I die, I want to do that.’ He was very a sensitive little boy. He had empathy,’’ Mrs McGlyn said.
She said part of Kane’s liver had already helped a baby battling liver disease and his lungs were awaiting a recipient.
His kidneys may also be used.
Chief executive of Shepparton-based national organ and tissue donation awareness organisation Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation, Allan Turner, said Kane’s gift was remarkable.
‘‘Teenagers have a very low donation rate on a national scale. Kane is a very rare donor,’’ Mr Turner said.
Mr Turner’s daughter Zaidee died aged seven from a brain aneurysm in 2004.
Zaidee’s organs went on to improve and, in some cases, save the lives of seven people.
Kane was born at Goulburn Valley Base Hospital on March 21, 1996 to Donna Rudeforth and Scott Doncon.
Mrs McGlyn said she became Kane’s carer as his mother suffered a mild intellectual disability.
He attended Gowrie St Primary School and later Guthrie St Primary School’s deaf facility.
As a secondary student he attended Shepparton High School.
Mrs McGlyn said Kane was a ‘‘happy kid’’ who loved music, particularly heavy metal and Battle of the Bands. She said although Kane was not able to play sport, he loved watching cricket with his dad.
He was also a boy with a big imagination.
‘‘His Asperger’s meant he was a different character every week — Batman, Superman, Captain Kirk. He loved Star Trek and Star Wars,’’ she said.
She said before Kane’s operation last week, the doctor drew a picture explaining the procedure.
‘‘He (Kane) put his fist in the air and said, ‘The final frontier,’’’ she said.
‘‘He was a simple fellow. He never asked for much. All he wanted to be was normal.’’
Another of Kane’s aunties, Natalie Lamb, said he was a kind-hearted and innocent boy.
‘‘He said, ‘When I die I want to save lives.’ That’s something you don’t expect from a young kid. He was 16, but he was really eight or 10 years old,’’ Mrs Lamb said.
Mr Turner said there were presently 50 young people under 19 awaiting life-saving transplants in Australia.
‘‘Of those 50 kids, half will die waiting,’’ Mr Turner said.
He said a Zaidee’s Foundation Schools Education Program was launched in July aimed at children aged between seven and 15 years old.
Tatura’s Jennifer Hippisley will head up a state education advisory group after being elected as the chair of the Victorian Local Learning and Education Network Broker Network.
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