IN the last few seconds of her life, Michelle Parker looked her father, mother and husband in the eye and told her she loved them. Then she closed her eyes.
When her life support machine was turned off earlier this year, she didn't wake up again. She was only 29.
A scan would later reveal she had suffered a massive brain haemorrhage.
When Kumar Siriwardene remembers his daughter, it's impossible not to hear the love in his voice.
"She probably crammed 50 years worth of life into her 29 years," he says fondly. "She enjoyed her life thoroughly, up to the last day she lived."
Early last year, Kumar was on the phone to his daughter about 6.30pm. She was unwell and thought she was coming down with a cold.
But about 10pm, the Siriwardenes received a call from their new son-in-law, Ash, saying Michelle had collapsed and was screaming in pain. She wanted her mother, Sherryl.
Dropping everything, the couple sped to Michelle and Ash's home. But by the time they got there, she had already collapsed and had been revived by the paramedics.
The ambulance took Michelle to Dandenong Hospital. Her mother rode with her; Kumar and Ash were driving behind them. By the time they arrived, Michelle had already been admitted and was taken to a cubicle.
"She looked at me and said, 'Dad, it's unbearable, my head is hurting so much and I'm feeling cold'," Kumar recalls.
They covered her with a blanket and Ash walked around to her bedside. And then it happened.
"She looked at me and said, 'Dad, I love you', looked at Sherryl and said 'Mum, I love you' and looked at Ash and said 'Ash, I love you' and she just closed her eyes."
She was rushed to the Monash Medical Centre, having two heart attacks on the way. She went into surgery about 4am, but when the doctors came out, they had the worst news possible. Michelle was brain dead.
Before her life support was switched off, the family were approached about organ donation. Both Kumar and Sherryl were registered organ donors and their daughter shared their sentiment.
With the blessing of Ash, her next of kin, the donation process started and Michelle's donation would go on to save the lives of six people and contribute to research.
Kumar has since been involved in the organ donation program at the Monash Medical Centre and Dandenong Hospital.
"I'm doing everything possible in my power to promote awareness of how important it is to tell your loved ones what your wishes are," he says. "At least we know her sudden death wasn't in vain. Some people are alive and living a better life because of her donation."
As part of his efforts, Kumar is raising money to refurbish the family room that he and his family used at the Monash Medical Centre when
Michelle was in the intensive care unit. A fund-raiser will be held at the Clayton RSL on 163 Carinish Road, Clayton, at 7.30pm on Friday, August 10. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the refurbishment. Cost: $10.