Boulets take message to Pittsburgh . . . Saskatoon woman example of someone impacted by surgical waiting times . . . Poppy Family singer dies at 73


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.

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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-040719Dorothy, 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

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

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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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

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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

B.C. coming off record year for transplants — total reached 529, including 340 kidneys . . .

BCTransplant

British Columbia has just completed what was a record year for organ transplants.

In 2021, medical teams completed 529 transplants, up from 451 in 2020. Here are the individual totals from 2021, with 2020 numbers in parentheses — kidneys, 340 (280); livers, 97 (80); lungs, 66 (55); and hearts, 22 (33). As well, there were four pancreas and multi-organ transplants. The 2021 totals for kidneys, lungs and livers were single-year records.

In 2021, medical teams dealt with a one-year record 150 deceased donors — the previous record of 122 was from 2018 — while there were an additional 75 living kidney donor transplants. In 2020, there were 110 deceased donors, and 81 living kidney donor transplants.

I’m hardly an expert but I am assuming that the increase in deceased donors is due at least in part to the ongoing opioid epidemic that B.C., and so many other jurisdictions, is experiencing.

Considering that we continue to live in these pandemic times it is concerning that, as Joseph Ruttle of Postmedia reported, “Nine of those lung transplants were among people suffering from the potentially devastating effects of COVID-19, eight of whom were fully healthy before contracting the virus.”

As well, BC Transplant reports that 1.57 million B.C. residents have registered their organ donation decision. On top of that, there now are 5,721 transplant recipients receiving care in the province.

From a BC Transplant news release:

“Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hospital-based critical care teams — which play a key role in identifying organ donors — referred potential donors to the 24/7 BC Transplant clinical referral line a record 775 times in 2021 (a 25 per cent increase over 2020). This demonstrates how organ donation is increasingly becoming a normal part of quality end-of-life care in hospital. . . .

“As of Dec. 31, 2021, 585 people still were waiting for organ transplants in B.C. British Columbians are encouraged to take two minutes and register as an organ donor, then share their decision with family: www.taketwominutes.ca.

Five of Russel Stevenson’s organs — liver, pancreas, lungs and both kidneys — were transplanted after the 58-year-old from Vernon, B.C., died during 2021.

“His heart was bigger than he was,” his wife, Sylvie, told Brendan Shykora of the Vernon Morning Star. “Russel was a kind, gentle and caring husband. He always made sure everyone around us was safe and happy and he wanted to take care of all of them . . .

“Knowing that Russ is still alive and living on in someone else is soothing for me. It gives me great pleasure to know that someone has a second chance.”



Ed Yong has written an article for The Atlantic that carries this title: The Millions of People Stuck in Pandemic Limbo. . . . The story details what those people who live with compromised immune systems have been going through as they try to stay healthy in these pandemic times. . . . If you haven’t already seen it, it’s well worth your time. And if you have friends or family who don’t understand the energy that has to be expended to keep up with things and to avoid iffy situations, it might be worth forwarding the link. . . . That story is right here.



“A new first-of-its-kind study out of Canada has discovered a way to make ‘universal’ organs that could be used in all transplant recipients regardless of their blood type,” writes Irelyne Lavery of Global News. . . .  Dr. Marcelo Cypel, surgical director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre at Toronto’s University Health Network, and senior author of the study, tells Lavery: “We’ll create a much more equal and fair distribution of donor organs to patients on the waitlist.” . . . The complete story is 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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

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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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

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

Holick to replace Clouston with Blazers . . . Winterhawks add goaltender in swap . . . Want to go to Jets’ game? Get vaccinated

The Kamloops Blazers will introduce Mark Holick as their new Kamloopsassociate coach today (Thursday). . . . Holick, who has a long history in the WHL, replaces Cory Clouston, who has left the organization after two seasons citing “personal reasons.” Clouston had been working alongside his brother, Shaun, the Blazers’ head coach who now is also the general manager. . . . Holick, 52, played in the WHL for parts of four seasons (1984-88) with the Saskatoon Blades and New Westminster Bruins. . . . He coached junior A, in the BCHL and AJHL, from 1994-07 before spending three seasons (2007-10) as the head coach of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice. He later was the head coach of the Prince George Cougars for three-plus seasons (2012-16). . . . For the past three seasons, he has been the head coach of the U-18 prep team at Yale Academy in Abbotsford, B.C. . . . Cory Clouston, meanwhile, told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week that he is leaving in order to spend more time with his daughter. “It’s not an easy decision,” Clouston told Hastings, “but it was an easy decision. To leave an organization that’s done a lot of good work in the last few years and has a great future wasn’t easy. But, in saying that, for me to focus on my daughter is a very easy decision.”


It’s 2021 and hockey is still finding itself in situations such as this one! This is nothing short of shameful and oh, so embarrassing.


The Portland Winterhawks have acquired G Mason Dunsford, 18, from the Tri-PortlandCity Americans for a conditional fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2023 draft. The Americans selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. From New Westminster, B.C., he got into 23 games over two seasons with Tri-City, going 3-14-0, 6.28, .844. . . . The Americans finished the 2020-21 development season with Dunsford, Talyn Boyko and Donovan Buskey as the goaltenders on their roster. Boyko turns 19 on Oct. 16 and is the likely starter. Buskey has aged out. . . . The Winterhawks finished that season with two goaltenders on their roster — 2001-born Brock Gould and Dante Giannuzzi, the presumed starter, who will be 19 on Sept. 3.


Oven


The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets have followed the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers in nhl2announcing that only folks who are fully vaccinated will be allowed into home games. . . . The Jets’ home arena, the Canada Life Centre, “will be selling to full capacity,” the team’s statement read, “and we will require all employees, event staff and guests to provide proof of full vaccination. The majority of our season seat holders have shared with us that having a proof of COVID-10 vaccination policy for Canada Life Centre and Burton Cummings Theatre is important to them.” . . . Fans also will have to wear facemasks while in the arena while not eating or drinking. . . .

Nanos Research completed a poll for The Globe and Mail earlier this month, asking: Would you support, somewhat oppose or oppose unvaccinated people being denied access to public gatherings like sporting events of indoor dining in restaurants? The newspaper’s John Ibbiston reported that “78 per cent of respondents said they would support (59 per cent) or somewhat support (19 per cent) such a ban. Only 15 per cent opposed a ban, and five per cent were somewhat opposed. Two per cent were unsure.”


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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

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Bean

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