Tauranga liver recipient still giving back, 25 years on

At 75, you might think Pat Roser would want to put her feet up, but she says she still has a debt to pay.

She's one of New Zealand's longest-surviving liver recipients.

In 1991, New Zealand wasn't doing transplants, so the Tauranga community helped raise the money for her to go to Australia.

It's given her an extra 25 years of life - and she's spent much of that time volunteering.

"That's the only thing I can do," Ms Roser told Newshub.

"My body's not great, I can't do a lot of physical stuff, but my brain still works thankfully and I can do what needs to be done down at Coastguard."

Things have come a long way, but donor rates in New Zealand, while improving, are still low.

In France, it's hoped a new system of presumed consent will improve donor numbers.

If people want to opt out they'll have to sign up to a rejection register.

But here, the Ministry of Health has decided against an opt-out system, and is instead focusing on improving hospital practices and public awareness.

Ms Roser is an example of the good it can do, and she shows her gratitude by making the most of her gift - taking her medications religiously, and following the doctor's orders.

As well as Coastguard, she's spent time working in Emergency Department, and also volunteers for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, giving back to the people that she says have given so much to her.

"I hope somebody tells me when I reach my use-by date," Ms Roser says.

The Tauranga community hopes that's some time off yet.

Newshub.

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