KPD transplants remain on hold . . . Waitt! He was going to donate to ex-wife’s husband, but . . .

According to Canadian Blood Services (CBS), all kidney donations through the Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) program have been on hold since March 16, and will continue that way for an indefinite period.

CBS provided some information regarding the COVID-19 situation on Wednesday in a news release headlined: A statement from the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Community . . .

The statement begins:

“In the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, administrative and medical leads of the organ donation and transplantation community across Canada are meeting regularly to collaboratively develop recommendations that can be used by provincial organ donation organizations and regional transplant and donation programs to guide the administration of organ and tissue donation and transplantation services.”

It continues with:

“The pressure COVID-19 is putting on Canadian hospitals is affecting organ and tissue donation and transplantation. While non-essential surgeries are paused, urgent and lifesaving organ and tissue donation and transplantation is proceeding on a case-by-case basis, and in collaboration with provincial and hospital administrators. It is expected that decisions about whether to proceed with donation or transplantation may differ from one jurisdiction to another.

“All living donation and transplant surgeries related to the Kidney Paired Donation program have been postponed for a minimum of six weeks, effective Monday, March 16. Surgeries will be rescheduled once there is consensus that it is safe to do so for both donors and recipients. In a number of jurisdictions eye and tissue donation has also been reduced or suspended. Measures are in place to ensure patients who need tissue grafts for emergency surgery will receive them.”

If you would like to see the complete statement, it’s right here.


Barry Waitt of Whitehorse was going to donate a kidney to his ex-wife’s husband. But then hisC ex-wife was declared healthy enough to donate herself, so that’s the way it went. Barry had gone through the entire process so he then decided to go ahead and donate a kidney anyway. That’s what happened on Nov. 13. . . . But there’s a whole lot more to his story and he writes about it all right here. After reading Barry’s story, I have to wonder if there isn’t a TV sitcom in there somewhere.


Scott Kidd is the West Coast scouting supervisor for the Oakland A’s. On Dec. 19, he thought he had the flu. A few days later, he was on life support, in need of a heart and one kidney. On Jan. 15, he got both. . . . Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has his story right here.




Welcome back! Zach and his mother finally are home . . . Green Shirt Day moves online

ZachHome
Zach Tremblay and his mother, Jana, were riding high on Saturday as they headed home for the first time in almost three months. (Photo: Jana Tremblay/Facebook)

There was some good kidney news on Saturday as Zach Tremblay and his mother, Jana, headed home to Robson, B.C., after spending almost three months in Vancouver.

Zach, who turned 17 while they were living at Ronald McDonald House, was transitioned from peritoneal dialysis (PD) to hemodialysis while in Vancouver.

Zach had been doing PD at home in Robson, which is across the Columbia River from Castlegar. However, as 2019 wound down there were some issues and his medical team decided that PD was losing its efficiency. So they changed him over to hemo.

Unable to do hemo at home in Robson meant that he would have to travel to Trail and the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital there. However, the unit there wasn’t able to free up room until now. Zach will be travelling three times a week to Trail for hemo, with his first run on Tuesday.

Jana announced their departure via Facebook:

“So this is happening!! Homeward bound with Dad!! Trail is ready for Zach so we are home to stay for now. Thank you all for your love and support over the past few months.

“We appreciate each and everyone of you.”

Now . . . if only we can find a kidney for Zach.

——

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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca





All about washing your hands, suppressed immune systems and a Kidney Gala . . .


Have you ever wondered what life is like for a transplant recipient — be it heart, lung or kidney — living with a suppressed immune system? . . . “For transplant patients,” writes Blair Crawford of the Ottawa Citizen, “the fear of infection is a daily fact of life. They all take drugs to suppress their immune system to reduce the risk their new organ will be rejected. (Tina) Proulx’s life depends on the Purell hand sanitizer and Lysol and Clorox wipes that are now being swept off store shelves and stockpiled by panicked shoppers.” . . . Proulx has a double lung transplant in December 2015. . . . Crawford has written a terrific piece that explains it all, and it is right here.


The eighth annual Kidney Gala was held in Vancouver recently, and Fred Lee, who handles Fred Lee’s Social Network for the Vancouver Province, was one of the co-hosts.

Stephen Gillis, who 17 days earlier had undergone a kidney transplant, and Michael Teigen, who was Gillis’s donor, were on hand and received a stirring standing ovation.

For more on the Kidney Gala, including photos, click right here.

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BTW, congrats to Stephen Gillis and his Vancouver Minor Atom A1 hockey team for their championship. They won the PCAHA Presidents Series title earlier in the week.

If you have been following Gillis’s story over the past year you know just how much this hockey team means to him.

Here’s a bit of what Gillis posted on Facebook:

“Thank you to our friends at Burnaby Winter Club for a spirited series. You’re a team of class and sportsmanship and it has been great to play you all year. Thank you for your team’s kindness and support during my health journey.

“So proud of our squad. On and off the ice they gave 110% and would never quit. This was a special team. Excited to see the great things these kids achieve. Stay relentless.

“Thank you to my amazing parent group for an outstanding season. It was a privilege to coach this team and you all jumped on board with my plan. I am so grateful for your support of the team, our culture and mission, and the constant support, kindness, and generosity you have shown me throughout my health issues. Truly, thank you.

“We dedicated tonight’s victory to young Zachary Tremblay and his mother Jana. Zach has become a hero to our team. At 16, he is currently on dialysis and is in need of a kidney donor (O negative or positive blood). We want to help Zach’s message and find him a heroic donor. Please spread the word and let’s find Zach a donor.”

——

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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca


Harry Bryant, a grandfather who lives in Vernon, B.C., has turned to Facebook in an attempt to find a living kidney donor. If you’re on Facebook, you are able to check out his page — Grandpa Needs a Kidney. . . . Caitlin Clow of the Vernon Morning Star recently did a story on Bryant, and it’s all right here.





A note for transplant recipients as BC Transplant changes brand on immunosuppressive drug

If you have been the recipient of an organ transplant, you need to be aware that BC Transplant, as in the tweet below, “is changing brands of immediate release tacrolimus from Prograf to Sandoz . . .” Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressive drug that works to keep the body from rejecting the new organ that really is from a foreign body. . . . For more information on the change and information sessions that have been scheduled, check the link that is available through this tweet.