VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – More living donors and an increase in British Columbians signing donor cards have led to a new record for organ transplants in 2010. Almost 300 procedures were done in the province last year.
Chris Kirby, 35, is just one man who had his life saved this year; he had heart problems since he was 18, but was shocked to learn he was going to need a new one in order to live.
That process took 18 months. “They give you a pager, and you live by this pager,” he explains. “I took it everywhere, hoping I could go in for my transplant because I was feeling so horrible.”
Kirby got a new heart about seven months ago. “When they finally told us that they were going to list me for a heart transplant, we were quite in shock. I know I was definitely scared as to what the future would hold for me.”
His procedure was on father’s day. Eight days later, his wife gave birth to twins. “I wouldn’t be here now [if it wasn’t for my heart transplant]. I know that there are a lot of other people waiting on the transplant list. Many people’s lives depend on others donating.”
Only 17 per cent of British Columbians have signed up to become an organ donor.