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Saturday 22 August 2015

'Doujon's Gift': '60 Minutes' Australia - FULL TRANSCRIPT

Here is the full transcript of the '60 Minutes' Australia story on Doujon Zammit, the Zammit family and the Gribilas family which screened on Sunday, September 7, 2008, in light of the new story on Doujon and the families, set to screen story this Sunday on the program (see previews for that here).

Photo: 60 Minutes Australia, supplied by the Zammit family
Full transcript:
INTRODUCTION LIZ HAYES: I remember when I first heard about young Doujon Zammit. Like you I thought, "What a waste, what a dreadful waste." He was just 20 years old. There he was one moment, having the holiday of his life on the Greek island of Mykonos. The next, he was being bashed senseless by a nightclub bouncer. And then came that terrible decision for his parents - to turn off his life support system. But despite their grief, the Zammits were certain of one thing - their son would not be forgotten. And he won't be. Tonight, an emotional journey as Oliver and Rosemarie Zammit go back to Greece, and meet the people Doujon saved.
STORY LIZ HAYES: As night falls over Athens, two families meet. Strangers from across the world now linked forever by a powerful bond.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I think he chose you. You look very good.
LIZ HAYES: In their darkest hour, Rosemarie and Oliver Zammit gave Kosta Gribilas the gift of life. Inside Kosta's chest beats the heart of their murdered son, Doujon. This story begins here, amid the highly-charged party atmosphere on the Greek island of Mykonos. Just over a month ago, 20-year-old Doujon and his cousin Cameron were celebrating the last days of a European vacation.
LIZ HAYES: Doujon sounded happy?
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: He was wonderful. They were both having a wonderful time.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: He was looking forward to coming back for his Mother's birthday. We planned just to go out and have a bit of dinner and just discuss his trip, and hear all the funny stories.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: He kept telling us he had so many stories to tell us when he got back home.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: Stories that we'll never hear now.
LIZ HAYES: Like many young Australians, Doujon had planned and saved for his overseas adventure, and independent rite of passage before settling down to serious work. His parents had encouraged the trip and threw a party before he and Cameron left. He was headed out on a trip of a lifetime - is that how he viewed it?
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: Yes, it was his goal. It was the start of a journey for him. He had so many big dreams, so many plans for his life.
LIZ HAYES: On 30 July, Doujon and Cameron were at the Mykonos Tropicana Club living life to the full. At the same time, across the Aegean Sea, in Athens, doctors were telling 31-year-old Kosta Gribilas he was dying.
KOSTA GRIBILAS: The doctors said to me, "Your heart is not good, it is not well, it is not healthy."
LIZ HAYES: Kosta, a journalist, was born in Australia but came to Greece 20 years ago. Late last year he was struck down with cardiomyopathy, a fatal viral heart condition. To live, doctors said, he needed a transplant. You knew for you to live, somebody had to die?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: Yes, unfortunately.
LIZ HAYES: That's a very difficult thing for you, I know.
KOSTA GRIBILAS: That's the hardest chapter in this book of my life.
LIZ HAYES: But very soon, Kosta's life and the life of Doujon Zammit would collide. Doujon and his cousin Cameron had gone to Paradise Beach, the most popular night spot in Mykonos. But the night ended in tragedy after they left the club to make their way home. Just as they reached here, a jeep screeched to a halt and four big bouncers jumped out. One of them extended a metal telescopic baton and started attacking them. Doujon collapsed unconscious, but then came to again and was able to walk to the ambulance. But then then he collapsed again and never woke up.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: We were told that he had passed away, then we were told he was on life support, we were told he had opened up one of his eyes, we were getting all these conflicting reports.
LIZ HAYES: None of it was good?
LIZ HAYES: Oliver Zammit flew immediately to Greece, to Doujon's bedside, praying for a miracle - that his son would wake up.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: I sat by his side, with tubes coming out of his mouth and his head bandaged, with the machines still helping his heart to beat and breathe, and I spoke to the doctor and the doctor explained to me that he was brain dead. I knew once it was explained that there was no brain activity, that there was no way I was taking my son home alive.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I go to bed with visions of Doujon up against a wall laying down. What pain did he go through? Did he suffer? As a parent you think of all those things. You want to protect your children, but you can't.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: And then just wake up missing him. Every morning.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: Too painful. It's just too painful, Liz.
LIZ HAYES: The murder of Doujon and his father's mission to Athens became a huge news story. Greeks were shocked and ashamed.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I can't understand how these men actually got in a car and planned to go out and hurt or kill Cameron and Doujon.
LIZ HAYES: As the saga played out very publicly, a grief stricken Oliver made the extraordinary decision to donate his son's organs to Greek transplant patients.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: My wife Rosemarie and Doujon's two brothers, Zeake and Laurent, and myself have decided to donate his organs. I understand there is a man waiting for his heart now. And he will be receiving his heart about 12 o'clock tonight. And I'm hoping that will help him and keep him alive.
LIZ HAYES: That man was Kosta Gribilas, by now in the final stages of heart failure. Amazingly, he learned of Doujon's gift at the same time as the rest of the world. That's the first you heard of it?
LIZ HAYES: On television?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: On television, yes. I was shocked.
LIZ HAYES: I'll bet you were. I can't even comprehend how you felt?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: I was happy, but in my happiness I was crying, I was crying for Doujon.
LIZ HAYES: Kosta wasn't the only one to benefit. Three other people received vital organs from Doujon. The 20-year-old was a supporter of organ donation and had talked to his mum and dad and brothers Zeake and Laurent about it, before his trip.
LIZ HAYES: You didn't have any hesitation?
OLIVER ZAMMIT: We had to respect his wishes.
LIZ HAYES: I think the extraordinary thing is, that even in this deepest, darkest hour of your own you chose to give life to people in their nation.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: I didn't choose it, it was my son's wishes.
LIZ HAYES: But you saw them through?
OLIVER ZAMMIT: Yes, well I did that for my son.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: You were his voice. We honoured his wishes, we have no regrets.
PETRO ALIVIZATOS: That was a very handsome young man. It was, it was a shame to see this boy dead. I mean, it was just heart wrenching, really.
LIZ HAYES: Like the rest of the nation, Greece's chief transplant surgeon Dr Petro Alivizatos was humbled by the Zammit family's decision.
PETRO ALIVIZATOS: To me, it was incredible. My reaction, I'm afraid, would be: "You bastards killed my son, you're not going to have any part of him. "I'm taking him home and burying him." I'm afraid that's how my reaction would be.
LIZ HAYES: Well, it was the ultimate gift.
LIZ HAYES: Last week, the Zammit family returned to Greece. and to Mykonos where Doujon spent his last days. Death and grief seem so out of place on this holiday island.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I can't believe I have to do this, it shouldn't have happened.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: Life goes on in Mykonos. Life goes on and as parents that's...
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: We've been dealt a death sentence for the rest of our lives.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: And that's hard to deal with.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: We've had to live with the death of Doujon, the passing of Doujon. We'll never see him again, never smell him again, all those things come into it. LIZ HAYES: But this trip is about healing and hope. They have come here to meet the people their son saved.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I'm looking forward to meeting the family and just even... being able to touch his heart.
KOSTA GRIBILAS: For me, the Zammit family is my family too.
LIZ HAYES: You feel that way?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: Yes. It's only 25, 26 days, but I feel them as a family. I haven't seen them, I haven't spoken with them, but I feel really, really, close with them.
LIZ HAYES: This is the moment the Zammit family has been so desperately wanting.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I think he chose you.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: You look very good.
LIZ HAYES: It's bitter-sweet sadness at the loss of their son, joy that his passing has saved others.
KOSTA GRIBILAS: I want to thank you, and I'm really, really, sorry about your loss, but I'm glad that I'm fine now. And this is the first time I'm touching my heart, my chest.
KOSTA GRIBILAS: The first time.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I'm so glad that out of Doujon's passing he has saved four people and helped four people, and that is the best thing that has come out of this tragedy. So I'm so glad you received his heart, Kosta.
KOSTA GRIBILAS: Me too, and I know it's really hard for you, really, really hard, and I know that there is no words, that you can describe it. But the only thing I can do is promise you that I'm going to look after it.
ROSEMARIE ZAMMIT: I'm sure you will.
LIZ HAYES: On the same night Kosta received his heart, Maria, a mother of two, ended 13 years of serious illness when she received Doujon's liver.
TRANSLATOR: She feels very awkward. She is very, very happy, but confused. It's a great gift - a gift of life for her.
LIZ HAYES: Meetings like these are difficult for everyone. Yannos received a kidney and pancreas. His recovery has been a little slower, but he's doing well.
TRANSLATOR: He thanks you. Because you made a great decision to give the organs to other people.
LIZ HAYES: The fourth recipient, Loukas, received Doujon's other kidney. He sent the family these photos and a letter of gratitude. Kosta has had made a remarkable recovery. His new heart is showing no signs of rejection and incredibly, he is hoping to be back at work in just two weeks. You have a wife, Poppy?
LIZ HAYES: And you've got plans?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: Yes. First of all I want kids.
LIZ HAYES: That's the first thing?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: Yes, that's the first thing I asked my doctors - when can I have kids?
LIZ HAYES: And you were told?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: Relax, relax, its really, really early. You have to heal first and after that, we're going to see.
LIZ HAYES: This has been a harrowing time for the Zammits. The nightmare no parent should ever have to experience. Losing Doujon has been devastating, but knowing their son has given life to so many others helps them just a little.
ROSEMARY ZAMMIT: I think giving life is wonderful.
OLIVER ZAMMIT: And so easily done, it is so easily done.
ROSEMARY ZAMMIT: And Doujon will live on.
LIZ HAYES: Do you see it like that?
OLIVER ZAMMIT: His life continues on, his legacy will always continue on.
ROSEMARY ZAMMIT: Even though there is not a day, an hour or a moment that goes by when we don't miss him.
LIZ HAYES: It's your heart, though, now.
KOSTA GRIBILAS: It's our heart.
LIZ HAYES: Is that how you see it?
KOSTA GRIBILAS: Yes, it's OUR heart.

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