When Kimberly Gardner’s family made the selfless decision to donate the organs of their beloved brother and son, they had no idea about the new set of twists and turns about to unfold.
While they grieved the loss of their Heath in one hospital room, outspoken talkback radio star Derryn Hinch was in another.
He was battling liver cancer and was in desperate need of a life-saving transplant.
Kimberly Garner is ‘outraged’ by Hinch’s decision to continue drinking. (A Current AffairKimberly Garner’s family made the selfless decision to donate the organs of their brother and son, Keith. (A Current Affair)
When Hinch received the call that a donor had been found and his life would be saved, he soon made the news public.
The Gardner family soon put two and two together.
It was Ms Gardner who contacted Hinch, and a friendship was born. Hinch owed the Gardner family his life, while they got to see a part of their Heath live on in another person.
It should have been a beautiful friendship – and a unique situation.
Hinch required a liver transplant after he was diagnosed with liver cancer in the late 2000s. (A Current Affair)
Normally in Australia, strict laws prohibit donors and recipients from knowing the identity of the other.
But this was no ordinary situation.
Despite that, the relationship has turned very sour.
Hinch has broken his vow never to touch alcohol again and that has outraged the family that saved his life.
“I’m very disappointed and disgusted in the choice that he’s made to continue to drink alcohol,” Kimberley told A Current Affair.
Senator Hinch this week declared he won’t stop drinking despite falling from an Uber following two glasses of wine.
“He was so lucky to get the operation to get the transplant in the first place and for him to abuse the gift he’s been given is outrageous.”
Ms Gardner said she was aware Hinch was back drinking alcohol last year but hoped he would stop.
When the Senator admitted he had fallen out of an Uber and hit his head earlier this week after two glasses of wine, Ms Gardner got angry.
“It just makes me think that he doesn’t appreciate what he’s been given at all and taking for granted,” she said.
The Gardner’s family’s relationship with Hinch has been unique. But it has turned sour. (A Current Affair)
“He’s been given a piece of my brother and he’s now abusing that completely.”
Hinch insists he fell because he was tired and his dodgy knee gave way from under him.
He also says his doctor has given him the all clear to have the occasional drink.
That doesn’t seem to have calmed Ms Gardner who says Hinch has broken a promise.
“Last time he drank, I thought it was a once-off. But now, it’s been put into concrete that he isn’t respecting it.”