Former Bourke GP campaigns for organ donors
Dr Geoff Cutter is passionate about organ donation, saying that one donor can potentially save up to 10 lives. Inset: Dr Geoff Cutter at Enngonia Races around 1986. Originally from England, Geoff’s first job in Australia was as a rural GP in Bourke 1986-1988. Photos: Louise Russell (Inset)/Supplied
A former Bourke GP is at the forefront of a campaign to encourage people to be organ and tissue donors, and his message comes from the heart.
Dr Geoff Cutter is one of the public faces of the annual Donate Life campaign. He now lives in Queensland and is an organ transplant recipient.
In October last year, Dr Cutter had a life-saving kidney transplant.
Without it, he said, he would not be alive to talk about the importance of registering as an organ donor to save the lives of others.
Dr Cutter said he was happy to campaign to change the statistics on organ donation in Australia.
“At any time in Australia there are between 14 -16 thousand people waiting for an organ transplant and the vast majority won’t get any options,” Dr Cutter said.
“You can save up to ten lives with one person donating their organs and my goodness, what a gift of life to leave behind.”
Dr Geoff Cutter was a familiar face to locals during his three-year tenure as a Bourke GP from 1983 to 1986, and said it was one of the happiest times of his life.
“I was one of three general practitioners who came to the outback from England and I had skills needed in the bush in anaesthetics and delivering babies,” he recalled.
“I came out looking for adventure - and I found it. I loved the red dirt and the mulga, and I thoroughly enjoyed Bourke. It was a wonderful town, very friendly, and very welcoming.
“I still keep up to date with what’s happening in the town through Facebook and I know what’s happening out there and know how hard it’s been.
“I take my hat off to people who have been drought-stricken for years at a time. It’s so hard mentally, emotionally and financially.”
His love of Bourke was part of the reason he put his hand up to promote organ donation among rural communities.
Dr Cutter cites the uncomplaining and generous nature of country people as the reason he wanted to see them embrace the positive outcomes of organ transplants through organ and tissue donations.
“I had experienced chronic kidney failure for a quarter of my life,” he explained.
“I developed diabetes in my mid-30s, out of the blue and unexpected with no family history - but that happens. I was very overweight at the time and that’s a big factor in Type 2 diabetes.
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