© 2013 Lions Clubs New Zealand
Lions Cubs were for many years, raising over $1million dollars NZ per annum via various organ transplant appeals, to send NZ'ers overseas for life-saving transplant surgery unavailable in NZ. As the years rolled by, Heart Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Eye, Lungs, etc started being transplanted in NZ - but NOT Liver.
Over eleven years Kevin Wall conducted research in human liver transplantation. This research looked into equipment needed, surgical staff needed, government support with funding, etc. In August 1997 the Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust agreed to back a public fundraising appeal. Thereafter the MD202 Lions Council of Governors agreed to support fundraising NZ$2million for the NZ Liver Transplant Facilities Fundraising Appeal.
PHASE 1 $700,000 to up skill medical staff and provide essential medical equipment for
PHASE 2 $800,000 to purchase an accommodation building suitable to house family of liver transplant patients and liver transplant patients once discharged from hospital.
PHASE 3 $500,000 to be held in Trust to assist costs involved in ensuring our NZ Liver Transplant Service remains an International Centre of Excellence.
On December 19, 1999 The Lions Transplant House situated at 2 Glasgow Terrace, Newmarket - a stone's throw from Auckland Hospital where the NZ Liver Transplant Service is situated - was officially opened. This accommodation facility has three x two-bedroom self contained apartments.
Our Fundraising Appeal closed at NZ$2.3million dollars. Therefore NZ$800,000+ was available for the PHASE 3 Trust Fund. Some additional medical equipment costing around NZ$100,000 was purchased leaving over $700,000 for the Trust Fund. Each year the earned income from this Trust Fund is applied to upskilling training costs of staff at the NZ Liver Transplant Service.
The Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust donated $50,000 with LCIF (Lions Clubs International Foundation) assisted the Fundraising with two grants each of US $75,000.
The NZ Liver Transplant Service, although based in Auckland, is a New Zealand Service. Many demographics came into the equation as to why the Service was domiciled in Auckland - things such as population (for donor tissue), frequency of international flights in Auckland (that can bring in donor tissue), theatre and ward space, Specialist Staff, etc.
The NZ Liver Transplant Service has amongst the highest if not the highest patient survival rate of anywhere in the world. This was one of our aims when we established the NZ Liver Transplant Service.