Transplant Recipients Thankful For The Gift Of Life

Vancouver – For many hospital staff around the province, this year’s holiday season will kick off with a very special delivery. It’s not something that you may think of as a Christmas present. Perhaps you should?

BC Transplant’s Operation Popcorn is an annual tradition where transplant recipients, living donors and donor family members thank hundreds of health professionals across B.C. for the gift of life. This year, almost 100 volunteers will deliver more than 100 tins of popcorn to 28 hospitals in B.C., and one in the Yukon.

Tony Maidment, the team captain for Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, will make the delivery for the first time as a transplant recipient. He received a transplant this spring after waiting six years for a new liver.

“This year’s Operation Popcorn is so very special to my family and me,” he says. “Although it’s a small gesture, to be able to thank some of the incredible doctors, nurses and hospital professionals in person means so much to us.”

“Health professionals do extraordinary things every day in this province,” says Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Thanks to their commitment to making life-saving transplants possible, hundreds of British Columbians have more time with their loved ones this holiday season.”

Lynette Brandsma is one such health professional. The ICU nurse at Vancouver General Hospital looks forward to Operation Popcorn every year.

“It’s a unique experience to hear stories from healthy recipients who have been given a second chance at life or from donor family members who have found comfort amidst tragedy because their loved ones were able to save the lives of others,” she says.

It’s even more special for Brandsma because her brother is a transplant recipient. “Organ donation has given life to my brother. Our family is so grateful to the donor and their family.”

“Operation Popcorn is an opportunity for health professionals in intensive care units, operating rooms and emergency departments in hospitals around the province to see how their hard work and dedication helps save lives,” explains Leanne Appleton, BC Transplant’s provincial executive director. “These deliveries are a small way for us to thank them for all they do.”

Operation Popcorn deliveries take place from December 4 to 8 across the province.

BC Transplant provides provincial oversight for all aspects or organ donation and transplantation in BC, and is an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). B.C.’s three transplant centres are BC Children’s Hospital, St Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital. Transplant patients receive follow up care at the transplant centres or at one of eight regional clinics close to their home community. More information: www.transplant.bc.ca or follow us on Twitter @BC_Transplant.

Provincial Health Services Authority is transforming health care through innovation and is committed to providing the best patient care possible through research and development of leading edge treatments, programs and services. For more information, please visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.

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