You know what’s mind-boggling? Well, let me tell you . . . the work that Bernie and Toby Boulet are doing to promote organ donation is mind-boggling. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where their efforts defy description. They are two great citizens of this world and there can be no debate about it. . . . This week they were in — wait for it! — Pittsburgh at the Center for Organ Recovery.
As you travel around in your world, you likely are encountering a goodly number of folks who are carrying on as though the pandemic is over. After all, that seems to be what provincial governments and their health officials want us to believe.
But . . . you know what? It’s not over. Of course, that’s the take of the medical and scientific communities, which the pooh-bahs choose to pretty much ignore.
Look, we hear a lot about how hospitals are struggling to keep up, healthcare workers are out of gas and people who need surgeries have had them postponed and postponed and postponed, again and again and again.
So let’s take a moment or two and put a name and a face to one of those people who has been waiting for badly needed surgery.
Terry Rebalkin of Saskatoon has been fighting kidney disease since 2008. She needs a transplant, but first has to have parathyroid surgery, a procedure that will result in a hospital stay of up to five days.
But there aren’t any hospital recovery beds available in Saskatoon.
“Rebalkin said she was able to keep the kidney disease at bay until 2019 through dialysis and healthier living,” reported Cory Coleman of CBC News. “However, things took a turn for the worst that year when her kidneys started filling up with fluid.
“She said she has been in and out of hospitals ever since, but hasn’t been able to get adequate help, especially in emergency rooms.”
Rebalkin told Coleman: “I’ve been treated horribly when I’ve gone to the emergency room, not getting the care that I need, not getting a bed, being septic and being sent home when you’re supposed to be in the hospital.
“It seems like nobody cares because they’re so overworked and they’re tired. The staff and the health region are exhausted.”
Rebalkin now needs a walker to get around, and she and her husband have had to change residences in order to accommodate her needs.
Coleman wrote: “Rebalkin said she believes the province’s handling of COVID-19 — especially the decision to drop all mandates — is one of the reasons for ongoing surgery delays.”
As she explained to Coleman: “They’ve made COVID the most important thing, and I understand, but then they act like it’s not here. So there’s more and more beds being taken up by people that have had COVID, and I understand they’re sick, but what about the rest of us? I’ve done everything you’ve asked me to do and what have I gotten out of it? Not a thing.”
Today, she has a tentative date for surgery — May 25 — but she’s been down this road before so is quite prepared for another delay.
“I’m just hoping that my surgery will be done on the day that I need, otherwise, I mean, it doesn’t give you a good outlook on life,” she said.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared . . . I just want my life back.”
So next time you hesitate to put on a mask or take any other precautionary measure stop and think about Terry Rebalkin and so many others who are in the same kind of predicament.
Coleman’s story is right here.
Susan Jacks, the lead singer for the Poppy Family, has died in a Vancouver hospital while awaiting a second kidney transplant. Jacks, who died in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, was 73. . . . She underwent a kidney transplant in 2010 with her brother, Bill, serving as the living donor. In recent days, she was suffering with infections that had her on the waiting list for a second transplant. “She was overwhelmed by infection, and her heart stopped,” Rick Pesklevits, another brother, told The Canadian Press. . . . Jacks was once married to Ted Dushinski, an all-star defensive back with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. He died of cancer in 2005. . . . Camille Bains of CP has more right here.
Dorothy, my wife of more than a few years, is preparing to take part in the annual Kidney Walk for a ninth straight year. She has participated in every one since she underwent a kidney transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Sept. 23, 2013. . . . The 2022 Kidney Walk will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . The Kidney Walk is a huge fund-raising venture for the Canadian Kidney Foundation and its provincial branches. By participating, Dorothy is able to give something back to an organization that has been such a big part of our lives. . . . If you would like to be on her team by making a donation you are able to do so 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
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
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 taketwominutes.ca