Daughter’s death helped nine live

Maria Bokinas (front) with registered nurses from Westmead Hospital’s intensive care unit Nic Brown, Shuk Yan Ho, social worker Kaylene Tanti, registered nurses David Russell and Gemmel Dino, clinical nurse educator Ann Duffey and registered nurse Stephanie Toovey.

WHEN her 32-year-old daughter Janna died at Westmead Hospital last year, Maria Bolinas choose to donate her organs to help nine other people live.

An episode of severe hypertension caused significant bleeding in the brain and left Janna with no brain activity, and Maria says the decision to donate her organs was made easier thanks to a simple conversation with her daughter when she applied for her driver’s licence.
“There was a question about whether she wanted to be a donor and she ticked yes. At the time I said ‘why would you tick yes, you are born with your organs, you die with your organs’,” Maria said.
“Janna said ‘mum, why wouldn’t I let other people benefit?’.
Maria said her decision was also about how she would celebrate her daughter’s life with others.
“I didn’t want my daughter’s life to end there. I had to figure out what I could do,” Maria said.
“That’s when I thought I want to donate her heart, because she had a good heart.
“After a discussion with the organ donation nurses about the process, we ended up donating nine organs the day after Janna died to help nine people live.
“Janna would walk an extra mile to make a person feel special, that’s how I know the decision to donate was the right one.
“She was a very generous person, intelligent and had a good career – she was a lawyer with two degrees.
“She lived her life but there was more to it and this was how we were able to achieve that.”
Organ donations are no longer recorded on NSW driver’s licences, but can be registered using your medicare card number at