Eighth anniversary of kidney transplant dampened by news from Saskatchewan . . .

Bridge


It was a small gathering — there were three of us — but we celebrated anyway.

It was the eighth anniversary of Dorothy’s kidney transplant. So we picked up some food from Señor Froggy — that’s the Kamloops restaurant whose owners gave its staff last week off with pay as a mental health break — and then we went to a dear kidney friend’s home for lunch.

The friend had a small ‘Happy Anniversary’ cake ready and we were able to devour three-quarters of it.

Yes, a good time was had by all.

And then we returned home to discover that Saskatchewan is on the verge of shutting down organ transplantation surgery, as Dr. Hassan Masri of the U of Saskatchewan College of Medicine tweeted, “due to the pressure on ICU and redeployment of staff.”

He added: “It simply means that those who pass away and generously want to donate their organs will not be able to. It also means that no one will be able to receive one. Tragic.”

Upon reading this I felt physically ill.

You know why the Saskatchewan health system is having to do this, and you know that other jurisdictions won’t be far behind.

Good grief, people . . . if you aren’t vaccinated, get it done. Now! Please.

The fact that people have registered as organ donors and now won’t be able to have that wish recognized is beyond belief. There now are families among us who will go through the grief of losing loved ones, but won’t ever feel the positive emotions that come with knowing that other people benefited from their losses.

This is . . . actually, there just aren’t words . . .

KaraDor-092020
Dorothy and granddaughter Kara playing a tune in a Burnaby park in September 2020.

Let me tell you what organ donation has meant in our lives . . .

At the time of Dorothy’s transplant, she had been doing peritoneal dialysis for almost four years. Every night, every single night, she hooked up to a machine and did dialysis while she slept.

Eight years ago, our son wasn’t married. He was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Burnaby near Metrotown. There weren’t any grandchildren.

Today, he is married with two happy and always excited daughters. Kara is five; Averi is one. The four of them now live in a wonderful new home in Coquitlam.

Pic2
Dorothy and Averi last month in Coquitlam. It was only the second time they had been together in 11 months.

Without a transplant, chances are Dorothy never would have known her granddaughters. She never would have been able to sit in a park and play duelling harmonicas with Kara. She wouldn’t have known what it’s like to sit at the dinner table with Averi and have the little one make faces at her.

Dorothy also wouldn’t have co-founded the Kamloops Kidney Support Group, through which we have made a lot of friends. She wouldn’t have taken part in any of the annual kidney walks; this year, she participated in her eighth one. She has raised $23,846 in that time, a lot of it through people like you who visit this website.

Without a transplant . . . well, I could go on and on because we’ve done and seen a lot over the past eight years, at least before the pandemic came along and disrupted our lives.

And now we’re at a stage where hospitals are having to stop doing transplants. This is 2021 and this is absolutely unbelievable.

It’s unbelievable because it’s all so avoidable.

As Ryan Switzer, a Swift Current city councillor, put it on Thursday afternoon: “Unvaccinated people are tying up the healthcare system to the point where people will needlessly die. This is no longer about just you. Vaxxed people have the power to save lives. Unvaxxed . . . the opposite.”

If you aren’t already, get vaccinated. I am begging you.

BTW, Dorothy got her third inoculation on Monday morning. As a transplant recipient, she takes anti-rejection drugs that result in a compromised immune system. Research shows that a third shot for people in her situation will spur her immune system to create more anti-bodies.

If you’re wondering, she had a sore arm for one day. It was a small price to pay.


Childhood


Meanwhile . . .

D Bode Wilde, 21, has confirmed that he is the one unvaccinated player who isn’t in training camp with the New York Islanders. “Hoping my human rights are enough to let me play,” he tweeted. “What a world.” . . . Bode, my wife would like to have a word with you. . . .

G Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets told reporters on Thursday that he had concerns about getting vaccinated because he doesn’t have a spleen. But then along came August and the COVID-19 virus found him. Once recovered, he got vaccinated. He now is fully vaccinated and feeling fine. . . . The spleen? It was removed via emergency surgery in 2012 after it ruptured following a fall while playing road hockey. . . .


The Alberta-based Heritage Junior B Hockey League has lost another team for the 2021-22 season. This all comes after the league revealed on Monday that all players, coaches and support staff must show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours before partaking in any team activity. . . . The Stettler Lightning pulled out Wednesday, saying that the restrictions cost them some players. . . . The Ponoka Stampeders actually opened their season with a pair of weekend losses. “Due to the new covid measures,” the team wrote on Twitter, “we found ourselves in a position of not having enough eligible players to continue the season.” . . . Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate has more right here.


The CFL had a Wednesday night game on its schedule this week — the Hamilton Tiger-Cats dumped the Ottawa Redblacks, 24-7 — but some viewers weren’t too enamoured.

Sorry, but I wasn’t among the viewing audience. I was too busy with baseball’s stretch drive. Go Giants! . . . But let’s not forget that David Ayres, that Zamboni driving goaltender who beat the Leafs, is a kidney transplant recipient.


Coldblood


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.


Mask

NHL executive: COVID defines everything we do . . . Doctors want Flames, Oilers to change direction . . . 2022 Memorial Cup has a home

Cats


If you haven’t seen it, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada posted his first 32 Thoughts of a new NHL season this week. He had been on a bit of an NHL media tour, so had gotten to speak to a number of people, including Bill Daly, the NHL’s deputy commissioner.

And it was Daly who said something that really jumped off my computer screen. Here’s how Friedman wrote it:

“On the 32 Thoughts podcast, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he was recently asked, “Putting COVID aside, what is your biggest challenge?”

“You can’t put COVID aside,” he responded. “COVID defines everything we do and everything we’re going to do, unfortunately.”

Words that all sporting leagues are having to live by. Unfortunately.

The first 32 Thoughts of the season is right here.


Some COVID-related NHL notes . . .

While about 78 per cent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, the NHL is saying that it expects at least 98 per cent of its players will be there come nhl2opening night, which is scheduled for Oct. 12. . . . If you do the math, that would leave about 15 players on the 32 rosters who won’t be fully vaccinated when the regular season begins. . . . Of course, you know that we are going to be hearing about those 15. . . .

On Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets revealed that F Zac Rinaldo, who isn’t vaccinated, won’t be in their training camp; instead, he will go to camp with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. . . .

At this point, F Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings is the only player on their roster not to have been vaccinated. That could result in him not playing in any of their nine games in Canada, something that would cost him about US$450,000. . . . “It’s his decision,” Detroit GM Steve Yzerman said, “and it’s the world we live in today. I’m not in a position to force anyone.” . . . You’re wondering if Yzerman is disappointed in Bertuzzi? “I personally am vaccinated,” he said. “My family is vaccinated. I will leave it at that.” . . .

G Tyler Parsons won’t be taking part in the Calgary Flames’ training camp. Brad Treliving, the Flames’ GM, said Parsons was “unable to satisfy quarantine rules” so he’s out. The Flames say that every player on the camp roster is fully vaccinated. . . .

General manager Tom Fitzgerald of the New Jersey Devils has said his club has one unvaccinated player whom “we are trying to help (get) through this.” . . .

The Edmonton Oilers aren’t expecting to have G Alex Stalock in uniform at any point this season. He ended up with COVID-19 last season and was found to have myocarditis, a swelling of the heart muscle that is associated with the virus. . . .

Edmonton general manager Ken Holland also said Wednesday that the Oilers have one player who isn’t vaccinated. Holland said that he and head coach Dave Tippett have met with the unidentified player and are trying to persuade him to get vaccinated. . . . Reports later Wednesday indicated that the player in question is F Josh Archibald.



Rocky


The Stettler Lightning of Alberta’s Heritage Junior B Hockey League announced Wednesday that they won’t play in 2021-22. “The new COVID restrictions put us in a very depleted player situation,” the team said via Twitter, “so the decision was made so players could join other teams for the remainder of this season.” The Lightning has been in the league since 1994.



Mike Benton, the Everett Silvertips’ director of broadcasting/public relations, is leaving the team. Benton was preparing for his seventh season as the Silvertips’ radio voice. . . . He is joining Seattle radio station 950 KJR where he will be the host of pregame, intermission and postgame shows on broadcasts involving the NHL’s Seattle Kraken.


Lifeboats


WR Antonio Brown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. Earlier in the week, Tampa Bay placed LB Kevin Minter, a special teams captain, on the list. Both players are fully vaccinated, so would need two negative tests at least 24 hours apart prior to Sunday in order to play against the host Los Angeles Rams. . . . LB Keanu Neal of the Dallas Cowboys is on the COVID list and his status for Monday’s game against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles is up in the air. . . . The Minnesota Vikings have placed CB Harrison Hand on the COVID list. They are at home to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.


The 2022 Memorial Cup has been awarded to Saint John, N.B., so the QMJHL’s CHLSea Dogs will be the host team. The CHL made the announcement on Wednesday, with the tournament to run from June 3-12. One other team — the Quebec Remparts — had been in the running. . . . The Sea Dogs are in their 16th season in the QMJHL; this is the first time they will play host to the tournament. . . . Because of the pandemic, the four-team tournament hasn’t been held since 2019. It was to have been held in Kelowna in 2020 and in an OHL city — either Oshawa or Sault Ste. Marie — in 2021. Because of the uncertainty, the OHL never got around to selecting a host city for 2021.


MaskSign


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.


Takeout

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