Organ transplant recipients Cindy Bachman, left, and Deborah Graves thank a registered nurse in the emergency room of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on Monday. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Organ transplant recipients express thanks and also thank new donors in advance

B.C. Transplant’s Operation Popcorn event being held this week on Vancouver Island

A lot of people have wish lists at this time of year, but when it comes to organ donation, too many continue to wait.

B.C. Transplant’s annual Operation Popcorn is taking place on Vancouver Island this week, with organ recipients visiting hospitals to deliver caramel corn to health care staff in operating rooms, intensive care units and emergency rooms.

The initiative is meant to thank hospital staff for their work supporting organ donation, and bring awareness to B.C. Transplant’s efforts.

Delivering popcorn at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on Monday were transplant recipients Cindy Bachman, of Nanoose Bay, and Deborah Graves, of Nanaimo. Bachman received a kidney transplant, while Graves received two liver transplants.

Bachman, a masters soccer player who has played in international events, told health care workers about her sporting pursuits, which she said would never have been possible without the donated organ she received.

“You’re just slowly deteriorating on dialysis and you’re not able to live your life because you’re tied to a machine,” she told the News Bulletin. “The transplant just makes such a difference to people’s lives. Not only does it improve your health, it just allows you to live your life.”

Bachman received her kidney from a live donor, her sister-in-law, but before that, she had a potential organ donation fall through five days before a scheduled operation.

“So as devastating as that was, what it shows people is they will not proceed if there’s any danger to the donor. So I think that’s a really important part,” she said.

Graves’s liver disease, due to a parasite she encountered while she was travelling abroad, caused her to be sick for more than a decade and she had to wait for six years before receiving a liver. Her body rejected the transplanted organ and her liver started shutting down before she received a second liver that would save her life.

“It’s an amazing gift,” Graves said. “You don’t know just how valuable life is until you are in jeopardy.”

She said while some people might find it a gruesome idea to part with their organs after they die, she hopes more people won’t hesitate to donate.

“You’re not going to use them,” she said. “And there’s more chance, statistically, that you will be a donor recipient than them actually harvesting from you. Think about how many people have transplants.”

While Operation Popcorn was about thanking hospital workers, there are a lot of thank yous still to be expressed, because there are a lot of transplants that still need to be made.

“If I can help out in any way, just to [bring] awareness or just to give thanks, I want to be able to do that. That is such a little thing to be able to do,” Graves said.

For more information, visit http://www.transplant.bc.ca/.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sign of the times: Park to be called John Dean and ȽÁU,WELNEW

Adam Olsen confirms park to be named ȽÁU,WELNEW/John Dean Provincial Park

15-year-old Nanaimo singer who had viral Facebook video releases single

Lauren Spencer-Smith recently appeared on American comedian Steve Harvey’s talk show

Meet Clover the Commonwealth Cat

Feline has made Saanich Commonwealth Place a second home

Column: Rest in peace, customer service

Customer service on the phone is often lacking; online it’s nearly non-existent

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

The father and two youngesters fell down a steep and treachorous cliff while hiking on Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read