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An Australian organ donor's family has praised their late son for his generosity and strength, after his selfless act helped save five Chinese patients.
At just 26 years, Phillip Hancock was a kind and adventurous young man who taught English at China's Chongqing Southwest University.
Tragedy struck in May this year when complications from type-one diabetes threatened Phillip's life. At that time all that he could think of was how to help others.
According to his father Peter Hancock, "just helping another person was what he was mainly all about."
With his parents by his side during his final moments, Phillip bravely told them his last wishes.
Although reluctant, with a heavy heart Phillip's parents agreed to their son's request and his liver, two kidneys and corneas were transplanted to five Chinese patients.
"It was not what we wanted, it was about him and what he wanted and he said if I have the opportunity and I'm ever in this situation, then let them take what they can," Hancock explained.
It was the first time ever a foreigner had become an organ donor in the city of Chongqing, where an image of medical staff bowing to Phillip in a hospital's operating room has become a stirring symbol of China's eternal gratitude.
As days have passed since the operations, Chongqing's Red Cross Society revealed in June that all transplants were successful.
Both kidney recipients have made a strong recovery and are now able to walk by themselves, while the liver recipient has been moved from an intensive care unit to a general ward.
The other two patients who received cornea transplants have now fully regained their eyesight and been discharged from hospital.
"It is good to know that in five other people, that he is living on," Hancock said.
Phillip's story struck a chord with many Chinese netizens.
"He was a great and selfless person, there're no national boundaries when it comes to kindness," a netizen said on Weibo, one of China's dominant social media platforms.
Another user commented on the heroic act. "It's generous for him to extend his life like this. He's praised not just because he saved Chinese patients, the act itself is worth praising."
While Phillip's story has captured the hearts of people in China and furthered the national conversation on organ donation awareness, in Australia the medical community have also praised his generous act and called on more people down under to follow his brave example.
"My heart goes out to Phillip's family, what a generous act and what a generous human being," National Medical Director of the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority Dr Helen Opdam said.
"I think Australians are generous people, I think we would all like the opportunity for ourselves or our family to receive a transplant if we needed one."
"If we do want that then we need to be prepared to be donors as well," she added.Source(s): Xinhua News Agency