Brisbane-based surgeon Stephen Lynch has been recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list for pioneering life-saving liver transplant techniques.
Every Christmas day for more years than Stephen Lynch can remember, he'd leave his young family to carry out life saving liver transplants.
His eldest daughters were six and eight before he managed to spend an entire Christmas with them.
The surgeon's decades of pioneering service in the field of liver transplants cost his family a lot, but gave the gift of life to many families from Australia, New Zealand and other nations.
His services to medicine have seen him appointed a companion in the Order of Australia in this year's Queen's Birthday honours list.
Prof Lynch, the chairman of surgery and transplantation at Brisbane's busy Princess Alexandra Hospital prefers to heap praise on the medical teams that surround him.
But his role in pioneering and advancing liver transplantation surgery is undeniable.
In the late 1980s he and his colleagues pioneered the technique of transplanting adult livers into children, a technique that's since saved thousands of lives.
A few years later he helped perform the world's first successful liver transplant from a living donor to a patient, also now a common technique.
A few years on, he helped bring the technique of liver splitting from Europe to Australia. It was another game changer, allowing two patients to be transplanted from a single organ from a deceased donor.
His work has helped reduce the mortality rate among Australian and New Zealanders on liver transplant wait lists to just 5 per cent.
"Without the organ donors and their families, without their courage and generosity, the miracle of transplantation would not be possible," he says.
"I'm over-awed with the honour, but I accept it on behalf of my family, who've loved, encouraged and supported me."