Organ donation saved record 502 lives last year in B.C.

B.C. has set a new record with 122 deceased donors and 100 living donors.

Edmund Lim volunteers with the Kidney Foundation of Canada at the Body & Soul Wellness Fair at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Matthew Abrey/Black Press)

Organ donations saved a record 502 lives in B.C. last year.

The Provincial Health Services Authority and BC Transplant said in a news release Thursday the transplants came from 122 deceased donors.

Broken down by organ, 28 hearts, 50 lungs and 77 livers were transplanted. There were also a record 338 kidney transplants, with 100 of those coming from living donors.

“It takes an incredible team effort to make organ donation happen,” said Dr. Sean Keenan, BC Transplant’s medical director of Organ Donation Services.

“Once a family selflessly consents to organ donation on behalf of their loved one, upwards of a hundred people are initially involved for each organ donor and transplant recipient.”

Katie Welsh, Canada’s first pediatric heart-transplant recipient in 1987, was one of the 28 people to receive a new heart last year when she underwent her second heart transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

“I am so grateful for the generosity of not one, but two families who have had the strength to say yes to organ donation in the midst of tragedy,” she said. “I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend because of them.”

More than 1.35 million people in B.C. are registered to be an organ donor. As of Jan. 1, 669 people across the province are waiting for a transplant.


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