Those of us in the Union Company, wether or not on the ‘slow greens’ around Australia or on the Seaways King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Melbourne and Hobart would remember Richard Grimsey. I am not too sure whether he was Rocky 1 or Rocky 2. in as much that there were two Rocky’s in the company at the same time Graeme Bartlett (Engineer) and Richard Grimsey (Shipwright). Both young, very capable and enterprising young men, well liked ship mates. Graeme Bartlett was from Rockhampton, Queensland, and Richard Grimsey from Hobart.
Rocky Grimsey the shipwright did not believe in wasting his spare time and decided to study to become a deck officer. He was also encourage to do this by his ship mates. Success was inevitable and Richard obtained his 2nd mates, Mates and Master’s certificates progressing through the ranks on the ships.
Progression to the top job in the Union Company by virtue of a lack of ships was well nigh impossible on the Australian side of the Tasman. Richard was wise and did not hang around, he joined CSR and rapidly gained promotion eventually to become master of the replacement vessel for ASP’s bulk cement carrier Goliath.
In more recent times Richard developed problems with his liver which became life threatening . A liver transplant save his life, this amazing success story, and a plea for donors is published below.
The ultimate gift
Blackman’s Bay resident, Richard Grimsey, has been given the ultimate gift – life.
Richard was the beneficiary of an anonymously donated liver just prior to Christmas 2016, and is now sharing his story to show his appreciation, and to implore fami- lies to talk about the idea of organ donation.
Being diagnosed with Alpha1 AntiTrypsin Deficiency of the liver in 2010 eventually led to Richard’s early retire- ment from a rewarding career captaining ships in 2014.
“Being diagnosed with a disease that was an inherited disorder was a very big shock,” said Richard.
“To be told that I would die if I didn’t have a liver trans- plant, and then told I was too old for the procedure, was an even bigger shock.”
There have been many trips to the emergency ward and stints in hospital since, including being flown to the
Austin Hospital in Melbourne by air ambulance, where he was told that he may not survive.
Richard was placed on the liver transplant waiting list, and faced the grim reality that someone needed to die in order for him to live, and it needed to be someone who was a registered organ donor.
During a visit at the Austin Hospital late last year, Richard was told this he was in ‘liver failure’, and was within one week of dying.
“I didn’t need to be told that I was fading, as I was well aware of it due to the lethargy and lack of strength, and the mind games were overwhelming.”
He received the gift of life via a donated liver the next day in a procedure that took more than eight hours.
He then spent five days in intensive care and ten days in the ward before being discharged, but had to remain in Melbourne to attend clinics twice a week.
Richard returned home to Blackmans Bay in January, and is now making a triumphant return to life, with the help of ongoing treatment.
Richard is now sharing his story for two main reasons.
Firstly, it is the only way he knows how to show his gratitude and love to an anonymous donor, who in a great humanitarian gesture, saved his life.
And to their family, who has lost a loved one, in the hope that knowing the gesture has saved a life might lessen their grieving, even a little.
Richard is also hoping to encourage families to talk about the idea of organ donation.
Liver transplant recipient, Richard Grimsey. (PS)
A very kind soul saved Richard’s life, so it would mean the world to him if sharing his story resulted in saving another person’s life.
Thanks to organ donation, people have gone from con- stant illness, uncountable operations, worry, waiting and uncertainty to a normal, healthy family life.
To help families decide whether the gift is something they are willing to give, there is lots of information on http://www.donatelife.com
You can no longer register a donation decision via your driver’s licence, the only way to register is online with Medicare through myGov, or by downloading and return- ing the registration form from the website.
We wish you well Richard, Jim Pyle.