Cassandra Hood
Cassandra Hood Contributed

How a teenager saved 12 lives as her final act

THIS is the young girl who saved the lives of 12 people after she was fatally injured in a single vehicle crash.

Cassandra Hood was only 17 when she died on June 22, 2000 of injuries from a vehicle crash just metres from her home in Central Queensland.

Her family made the call to donate her organs - a decision which Cassandra's mother said was cathartic and comforting amid the heartbreak.

"The thing that got me through this was that Cassandra was an organ donor," her mother Dianne Priddle, who now lives at Oakey, said.

"I can tell you, for myself and my family, it was probably the comfort that we could draw upon in the worst time of our life."

Ms Priddle and her daughter worked desperately to save Cassandra, resuscitating her just metres from their rural property and keeping her breathing until the paramedics arrived.

She didn't survive and at Rockhampton Hospital Ms Priddle made the decision to donate her organs in accordance with her teenage daughter's wishes.

"At that time we were trying to save her life but ultimately it gave 12 other people life," she said.

Sixteen years on, she called for any recipients to make contact.

"I have letters from recipients but maybe, one of these years (they will meet)," she said.

"She gave her organs on June 22, 2000, in Rockhampton and they are spread all over Australia.

"If you hear me, please give us a call because I would love to hear from you.

Ms Priddle has become a campaigner for DonateLife Week which encourages people to talk with their families about organ donation and to register with Medicare.

She said there were thousands of people on organ transplant lists, but very few people qualified to become donors.

Fewer still registered.

"It's not on your driver's licence, you need to join through Medicare so just go fill in the form.

"It may save somebody's life ... but you must talk to your family."


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