Comox Valley organ transplant recipients personally thanked St. Joseph’s General Hospital staff last week for helping make transplants possible.
St. Joseph’s was one of 28 B.C. hospitals organ recipients visited during Operation Popcorn week to hand over tins of popcorn to staff who work to support the organ recovery process.
“It’s just a small way that the Transplant Society says thanks on behalf of recipients for what’s been done for the patients,” says Martin Davies, who works as a volunteer ambassador for B.C. Transplant.
“In 1999, at age 26, my son Tim received a heart … and since then he’s gone on to lead a really normal life,” continues Davies, noting 14 years later, his son has a happy life with a wife and two children.
“Without that organ, receiving that heart, none of that would have happened.”
Davies, plus Comox Valley transplant recipients Robbie Thompson and Sid Popham, visited St. Joseph’s emergency department and intensive care unit to thank staff who support families of donors dealing with the loss of their loved one, and recover organs for donation.
ICU clinical co-ordinator Alana Drummond says staff look forward to the organ recipient visit each year.
“Often in here, we see the sad side of it a lot because we deal with people that are donating the organs and their families, but to see the people that have received them and how it’s changed their lives — it puts a different spin on it and it’s very rewarding for us,” says Drummond, who teared up when she heard an emotional Davies tell his son’s story. “It touches your heart more.”
Davies adds Operation Popcorn is also designed to raise awareness about the need for registered organ donors.
More than 300 British Columbians have received transplants this year, but more than 400 are waiting for a transplant. Although 85 per cent of British Columbians say they support organ donation, only 18 per cent are registered as organ donors.
A driver’s licence decal no longer means you are registered as an organ donor. Instead, visit https://transplant.bc.ca/OnlineReg/bcts.asp to register using your care card number, or call 1-800-663-6189 to have a hard-copy registration form sent to you.