Transplant recipient and unvaccinated? Please get it done for donor and donor’s family

As I scroll through social media and read some of what is in various news outlets I often stop and ponder things, but there isn’t much that sticks to me enough to cause pain.

On Sunday night, however, a tweet that had been posted on Saturday afternoon caught up to me. And it has stuck to me like Gorilla Glue.

Someone with the Twitter handle PrimulaBlue tweeted about having experienced “my first COVID death.” It turns out it was someone who was married and had been the recipient of a kidney transplant. For whatever reason(s), this transplant recipient hadn’t gotten vaccinated. Not only that, but he had taken part in at least one anti-vaccination protest outside a Kelowna hospital. And now he is dead. Gone.

The fact that the recipient of a kidney, whether it came from a deceased or living donor, didn’t do everything in his power to protect that kidney just blows me away.

How do you explain that to a donor or to a donor’s family?

As we were preparing for Dorothy’s transplant more than eight years ago, there were numerous conversations with various members of her transplant team about looking after the new kidney, and about how doing that was showing respect to a donor.

There also were conversations and questions centred on keeping medial appointments, about taking medications on time and taking them right through the end of prescriptions.

Of course, we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic eight years ago, but I can’t imagine having received a kidney and not getting fully vaccinated — meaning three inoculations — in order to give that kidney all the protection that is available.

The thing that transplant recipients have to know is that mRNA vaccines — Moderna and Pfizer — don’t contain live viruses. They don’t contain computer chips, either, but the important thing is that there aren’t live viruses in there.

From the CDC website:

“The mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. Instead, they work by teaching our cells to make a harmless piece of a ‘spike protein,’ which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. After making the protein piece, cells display it on their surface. Our immune system then recognizes that it does not belong there and responds to get rid of it. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced, creating the same response that happens in a natural infection.”

If you haven’t go it done yet, please get vaccinated. For you. For your family. For those around you.

If you are a transplant recipient who hasn’t yet got it done, do it for your donor and your donor’s family. You owe it to them.

By now, you likely are aware that organ transplants in Saskatchewan have been placed on hold because of circumstances brought on by the pandemic. But what does that mean? Well, Logan Stein of Saskatoon radio station 650 CKOM spoke with Eden Janzen, 25, who has been on dialysis for four years. . . . “With COVID, it’s not just the transplant, you have to do so much testing and ultrasounds so everything has been on hold for everybody,” Janzen told Stein. “I’m just hopeful this kind of opens people’s eyes and they have a change of heart. If they didn’t get their vaccine because they’re busy, or they just simply didn’t want to, I hope that they will. It’s not just COVID now that’s affecting people. Now people with compromised immune systems and failing organs are put more at risk.” . . . The complete story is right here.

Adam Freilich and Charles Gagnon have met numerous times on a sheet of curling ice. After all, Freilich is the third on Team Comeau of New Brunswick and Gagnon plays lead for Team Lawton of Quebec. Both teams are regulars on the Canadian bonspiel circuit. . . . So when Freilich, 28, got to the stage where he needed a kidney, guess who turned out to be a match. Yes, it was the 49-year-old Gagnon. . . . The transplant took place on Sept. 21. . . . Devin Heroux of CBC Sports has the story right here.

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

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873



Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182


Or, for more information, visit right here.

Want an easy win to feel great? Register to be an organ donor today. It will only #TakeTwoMinutes and you could save a life. Great deed and fuzzy feels without any hassle. #Register2Give


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