Donatelife week - Meet Andree and Soumya

Andree and Soumya, DonateLife Week 2019
July 30, 2019

As part of DonateLife Week 2019, we spoke to two people who are dedicated to raising awareness of organ and tissue donation and supporting the donors, their families and the staff who care for them.

Meet Andree Gould, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) and DonateLife Donor Coordinator, and RPH Intensivist and Donation Medical Specialist, Dr Soumya Ray. Both commit themselves to supporting donors and their loved ones through the often emotional and challenging end-of-life care discussions.

While a patient’s journey can be a difficult and stressful time for themselves and their families, it’s also an opportunity for Andree and Soumya to offer comfort and closure, and to enable the incredibly generous and benevolent act of donation.

Each day, Andree’s role is split between working at the RPH ICU DonateLife office and being on-call at DonateLife WA. Identifying and coordinating donors and recipients is a complex task that requires her to examine each case from all perspectives and possibilities, to optimise the outcomes for each. Soumya’s role is clinically focused, and each day he champions the cause of organ and tissue donation, integrating donation discussions into end-of-life care from a clinical perspective.

Andree and Soumya are always astounded by the generosity of spirit and strength of character in the patients and families they support.

“People are simply amazing. To see such generosity and kindness in patients and families, often at the height of grief on one of their worst days, it restores your faith in humanity.”

The process of organ and tissue donation is built on the value of collaboration. It spans the entire hospital, and is supported by staff from multiple departments, each of whom shares a genuine interest in the donation outcomes and go above and beyond to assist. It also involves the timely cooperation of a broad network of external teams, like emergency services, coroners, pilots and regional and interstate health services.

Through their work, they are committed to the values of excellence, respect and integrity, striving to provide the highest level of care possible whilst strictly observing the patient’s wishes and consent. Above all, the staff who are involved in organ and tissue donation are guided by kindness, engaging donors, families and recipients with care and support.

Both Andree and Soumya work towards advancing and championing the cause of organ and tissue donation at a national level. Their goal is to further ingrain the conversation into all end-of-life discussions and care plans. Through raising community and public awareness of the issue, it allows health practitioners to start the essential donation conversation early, before it’s too late.

Each organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of many people. While Australia is a world leader for successful transplants, there are many people still in desperate need, and much more we can do to help them. Visit DonateLife to register as an organ donor, and to find out more.