What a day it was today.
The book is very much also the story of Kosta Gribilas, the man who received Doujon's heart in a heart transplant operation half a world away in Greece, the same country where Doujon met his tragic fate.
It's also the story of the incredible friendship forged between two families, joined by tragedy, and forever linked by the chain of events, a story many around the world now know.
And: it's the story of unspeakable sadness, experienced again when Kosta and his wife Poppy lost their beloved baby daughter Konstantina Angelique.
The authors Greg Callaghan and Ian Cuthbertson have captured the stories of all these incredible people, and the collision of events which led to a lifelong bond.
The book is out August 31, and can be pre-ordered now.
The event: a beautiful event held at NSW Parliament House, officially launched by the Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP NSW Minister for Health, introduced by Dr Alan Amodeo, Director of Transplant Australia, with authors Greg Callaghan and Ian Cuthbertson expressing their gratitude working on this immense and emotional project, and Dr Elena Cavazzoni, NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service's state medical director, who gave some sobering stats on organ donation (see clip below), and what it all truly means, beyond the actual organ donation.
And then: Rosemarie spoke her beautiful heartfelt words, knowing what a journey it has been, and honouring her family and her 'earth angels', Oliver spoke off the cuff and we shed tears alongside him, and then some concise and emotional words from Kosta, with wife Poppy by his side. Allen and Unwin publisher Jane Palfreyman also spoke about how this story came to life in book format, and the audience all agreed with the authors' sentiments: how can you not love these beautiful people?
Here are some snaps and pics from the day (there are probably far too many of me and the families, more than I'd usually post in an event wrap up, but I was so happy for all involved today, and thought I'd also share some of my snaps, too):
|Rosemarie and Oliver Zammit, just after the book is officially launched|
|Kosta Gribilas signing books, alongside his wife Poppy, below|
|Rosemarie and Oliver Zammit, and Poppy and Kosta Gribilas|
|Rosemarie and Oliver Zammit signing books side by side, just as they everything in life|
|Zeake Zammit and Josie|
|Oliver Zammit signing books|
And you can see the 2008 '60 Minutes' Australia Liz Hayes interview transcript with the Zammit and Gribilas family here.