Deegan Mulhall, 8, is back to full health after beating cancer. Deegan is pictured with his little brother Mason, 7 months, mum Lisa Redpath and dad Tony Mulhall.
Deegan Mulhall, 8, is back to full health after beating cancer. Deegan is pictured with his little brother Mason, 7 months, mum Lisa Redpath and dad Tony Mulhall. Warren Lynam

One decision by a stranger saved this boy's life

A YOUNG Beerwah resident who won his battle with cancer has shared his story, which had a happy outcome thanks to a stranger's organ donation.

Lisa Redpath's son Deegan Mulhall, now 8 and cancer-free, was two years old when diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his liver in 2013.

It was just a few days before his third birthday, and the family had been living in Darwin.

"We flew out on his third birthday, and they confirmed it was aggressive cancer," she said. "It was scary. Very scary.

"We didn't know what was happening, let alone what was going to happen to him.

"We didn't know if he could be cured."

The family moved to Brisbane where he underwent three months of chemotherapy at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

"It wasn't safe to cut it out, so they had to remove the whole liver," Ms Redpath said. "He was put on the transplant list and had to wait about a month until the chemo was out of his system.

"Then it was a waiting game, about whether he was going to get one."

While many people, including children, in need of an organ donation don't survive the wait, Deegan was lucky and a match was found in two weeks, she said.

"You can never be grateful enough, there's no real words that can describe it," Ms Redpath said.

"It's a very precious gift."

In December the same year of his cancer diagnosis Deegan received the transplant, and he has been in "perfect health" ever since.

"He hasn't had any dramas," Ms Redpath said.

"He's just really healthy. He has regular checkups and blood tests to make sure his levels are on track.

"They're miracle workers," she said of the health professionals who helped him.

"We're very thankful."

The help available to the family as they had treatment was significant, she said.

"We basically lived at the Ronald McDonald House when he was getting treatment."

DonateLife Week starts on Sunday.

Last year, 94 deceased organ donors in Queensland saved the lives of 287 Australians. More than 1500 people are on the waiting list for life-saving surgery.

To join the Australian Organ Donor Register visit donatelife.gov.au