Lions Eye Donation Service

Meet Gavin de Loree

Get to know Gavin de Loree, transplant coordinator with the Lions Eye Donation Service.

We sat down with Gavin to ask him a few quick questions.

Gavin has a Bachelor of Nursing Degree, with post graduate qualifications in neuroscience and critical care nursing.

He is one of a small team which works around the clock to retrieve and deliver eye tissue for sight-saving transplants.

What set you on the path to a career as a transplant coordinator?

I initially completed a Nursing degree in Rotorua New Zealand, I then moved to Melbourne to complete a graduate nursing program at Austin Health.

I worked in the high acuity areas of the Austin, the main areas included neurosurgery, intensive care and the emergency department.

From the Austin, I applied for a Donation Specialist Nursing Coordinator role at DonateLife working in the central agency and then the Royal Melbourne intensive care department.

Being involved in organ donation I always had a keen interest in eye donation and was lucky enough to secure a position at the eyebank.

What is people’s reaction when they find out what you do for a living?

I’ve worked in donation for a while now, so most people know the basics of what I do.

People I meet for the first time find it a little strange at first until they gain insight into the significance of eye donation for not only restoring sight but also for furthering eye research.

You’ve worked in Australia and New Zealand, are there any specific differences?

The stand out differences are population size, resources and infrastructure. Otherwise both countries are very comparable.

What’s one of the most surprising aspects of eye donation?

That in most cases you can still donate corneal tissue and restore sight despite a medical history of cancer.