Quite simply, Megan McLoughlin says she is filled with hope each time she reflects on the greatest gift she has ever received – life.
The 37-year-old Tanunda woman is a double transplant recipient following medical conditions which left her legally blind.
Her desire to live a full and rewarding life was strengthened on Thursday after she was named the 2019 South Australian Local Hero for her advocacy work towards organ donation.
The wife and mother of two is the founder of the Herd of Hope – a charity which promotes organ donation to schools and the wider community.
Included in her long-list of awareness campaigns was The Campdraft for Hope held in Marrabel in late September.
“I simply want to give hope to others,” she told Northern Argus.
Ms McLoughlin said the trophy, presented at Adelaide Oval is also the result of her family and wide network of friends and supporters, some of which joined them on the evening.
"However, I was totally unprepared for this win,” she said.
It was during a visit to Government House and mingling with SA Govenor Hieu Van Le and all SA of the Year nominees, she told her supporters she felt she had no chance.
Yet her assumption proved wrong and the honour means Ms McLoughlin now vies for the national award presented in Canberra next January.
Ms McLoughlin received her ‘gifts of life’ in December 2010 after she found herself living with acute renal failure. At the time she was given only weeks to live.
She is also just one of 64 women in the world to deliver two children post double transplant.
This year she has also faced two cancer diagnoses, yet continues to focus her energy on improving the lives of others.