Zach Tremblay turned 17 on Wednesday.
Well, he was in Vancouver. But, of course, a lot of places for celebrations in the big city are shut down or takeout only.
Oh, and he also had to spend part of his day doing dialysis.
But there still was cake and goodies and lots of fun at Ronald McDonald House.
Zach is from Robson, B.C., which is across the Columbia River from Castlegar. He and his mother, Jana, have been in Vancouver since early in January. He spent some time in B.C. Children’s Hospital, where they transitioned him from peritoneal dialysis (PD) to hemodialysis.
Now that he’s on hemo, he won’t be able to do dialysis at home, something he did while he was doing PD.
The reason he and his mother haven’t been able to return home is that Zach will have to travel to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail to do hemo, but . . .
“We were told Trail doesn’t accept patients who are not 17 years old plus a day,” Jana told Gord McIntyre of Postmedia in February. “Zach turns 17 on March 18.”
The dialysis unit in Trail has eight chairs and there apparently have been discussions about adding a ninth, which would ease some of the load there.
Of course, in a perfect world, Zach would have gotten word on his birthday that a donor had been found. As it is, we still wake up every day hoping that a match has been discovered.
In the meantime, Zach and Jana remain in Vancouver. But, as Jana points out, considering the situation in which we find ourselves these days that may not be a bad thing.
“We are thinking he’s safer here for now where he is still child priority,” she told me. “Going home means doing dialysis in a unit of older people mostly and it’s not the safest place for him to be. Here he gets good dialysis and is near a children’s hospital as this virus spreads.”
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822