What started out with a simple tweet raising awareness for organ donation ended with a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for Sky Blue goalkeeper Danny Vukovic last Friday.
It was a whirlwind 24 hours for Vukovic, who received the call requesting a meeting with his family and the Prime Minister late on Thursday, and it was an experience the shotstopper will not forget.
“It was a pretty crazy experience, it all happened really quickly,” Vukovic said.
“I think it was Thursday I was leaving training and I got a call telling me the Prime Minister wanted to meet me and my family and the next morning I was meeting him.
“I was asked by DonateLife to jump on board and raise awareness and then the Prime Minister wanted to raise awareness also and in turn wanted to meet our family. The response we’ve had since then has been amazing.”
Vukovic’s son is currently on the organ transplant waiting list needing a new liver, and it was the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service that initially got in touch and organised the meeting.
“It was just surreal. He asked to hold our son and he carried him around his building for 15 minutes and he was a really lovely guy so it was a great experience.
“We spoke about our son and what we’ve gone through as a family and he asked if there was anything he could do.
“Our family are just over the moon to see their grandson and myself and wife on TV and on social media, it is huge for them.”
Vukovic said the reaction has been more than he could have imagined as he urged as many people as possible to visit DonateLife and sign up as an organ donor.
“It’s blown up a bit more than expected but the nice thing is I’ve had people contact me directly saying they’ve jumped on board and registered as organ donors,” he said.
“If I could get one person to become an organ donor I would think it was a success. There’s been quite a few, that’s what it’s all been about, to raise awareness, and now that the Prime Minister is on board I think it’s only going to get better.
“DonateLife have been really happy and been in contact quite a few times to thank me for what I’ve done.
“It was a really simple thing to put out something on Twitter and share this story with my son. Hopefully that can raise the awareness of organ donors and help other families in Australia.”
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