Coen Ashton, 16, is proof of how much difference transplants can make. To Coen, organ tissue donors are heroes.
Coen Ashton, 16, is proof of how much difference transplants can make. To Coen, organ tissue donors are heroes. Robyne Cuerel

Double-lung transplant recipient getting on with his life

HE FIRE twirls, kitesurfs and goes spear fishing but Maryborough teenager Coen Ashton is better known for his tireless promotion of organ donation.

The 16-year-old, who was born with cystic fibrosis, received a double-lung transplant in October 2012.

The year before his transplant, Coen spent seven weeks travelling the Murray River on a jetski, signing up new organ donors and spreading awareness.

He tackled the 2000km journey again in late February and completed the trek in just seven days.

Coen said his latest adventure proved how much difference a transplant could make to a person's life.

"Organ donation does save lives," he said. "It gives that second chance to someone's life."

Coen's next adventure will be speaking at Young Leaders Day in Sydney to 6000 students on March 31.

"My goal is to change Australian culture for organ donation," he said.

According to donatelife about 1500 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any time.

In 2013, 391 organ donors gave 1122 Australians a new chance in life.

Visit coenashton.com.au.



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