IT'S a decision no one would want to make by the deathbed of a loved one in their last few hours of life.
But it's a decision Ralph and Kathy Kelly took for their son Thomas, 18, irreparably hurt by a stranger's punch.
Three years on, Mrs Kelly, of Bowral, wants us all to "have the conversation" about organ and tissue donation.
Thomas Kelly was on a night out in King's Cross in July 2012 when he was assaulted, striking his head in the fall. The next night, on doctors' advice, the Kelly family switched off his life support and donated his organs for transplant.
Mrs Kelly said it was "12 months to the day" since Thomas had gained his driver's licence and ticked 'yes' as a donor.
"I suppose he really didn't think anything would ever happen to him and I'm sure Ralph felt exactly the same," Mrs Kelly said. "But I'm grateful for that decision because when we were in the hospital, Ralph could relay the conversation they had.
"That was definitely a positive, him saying, yes, if I can't live, then somebody else may as well have that opportunity through me.
"I think because they had had that conversation, it did make it a little bit easier to accept the decision to [donate]."
Organ and tissue donation specialist Professor Anders Aneman said families were always consulted for their consent.
"Even if you have registered your decision to be a donor, your family will still be asked to give consent," Prof Aneman said.
"Families that have discussed and know each other's donation decisions are much more likely to support donation."
Ten or more people can benefit from one donor, though only one in 100 hospital deaths is viable for transplants.
In 2012 the NSW Government abolished the option to register for organ donation through the driver's licence system.
The Australian Organ Donor Register, run by Medicare, is the only way to record a decision about donation after death.
Registrations can be made online through medicareaustralia.gov.au or telephone 1800 777 203 to request a form in the post.
The Kelly family continues other work in the memory of their son and brother through the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.
The Foundation is hosting a gala ball and fundraiser on Wednesday, September 16, at The Star in Pyrmont, Sydney.
Funds raised will go towards the Foundation's safety initiatives, such as 'Take Kare' safe spaces in the inner-city.
"That's a safe space run every Friday and Saturday night, helping young and vulnerable youth get home safely," Mrs Kelly said.
"So far we've had about 5000 interventions. It might just have been helping rehydrate somebody, helping charge their phones, handing out a pair of thongs so they don't have to be walking in their crippling high heels any more. Or, last week ... the safe space actually kept a man [who had been assaulted] alive by providing CPR until the paramedics arrived."
She credits most of the Take Kare initiative to her husband: "Ralph ... has been absolutely incredible. I am so proud of his drive and determination."
Mrs Kelly said it would be "great if we could get a few tables from the local community to come and support us" at the gala ball.
Special guests include Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, Premier Mike Baird, entertainer David Campbell, and music from Justice Crew and Samantha Jade.
"It really will be a wonderful evening and will help raise the money we need to keep the Foundation going, getting kids home safely."
For bookings, go to www.thomaskellyyouthfoundation.org.au