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

Nanaimo RCMP reports increase in calls around supportive housing sites

Terminal and Labieux areas see 50-60 per cent increases in activity, reports RCMP superintendent

Wild about nature photos: Royal B.C. Museum set to kick off annual exhibition

Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition winners, finalists’ works on display starting Friday

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Lake Cowichan author finds rare manuscript while researching at Kaatza Station Museum

Dean Unger was amazed to find handwritten book by Victorian era author in simple grey box

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read