April 7, 2019 at 1:10 pm #18232
This post is unique to Canada, so please bare with me as I share a story I am very proud of as a Canadian. Last year on April 6 2018, our country was brought together following the heartbreaking tragedy of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. The bus carrying their entire team was struck at full speed by a semi trailer, and 16 team members were killed including their head coach and trainer. Only 13 players survived, but were left with devastating injuries that will forever alter the course of their young lives. I’ll never forget this day, as our entire country mourned the loss that the Humboldt, Saskatchewan community was feeling (which is depicted in the photo below).
Image does not belong to BioNews, sourced online here.
You might ask: what does this have to do this IPF?
Out of that tragic event, over 100,000 Canadians registered to be an organ donor because of one player who made his wishes known. Logan Boulet registered to be an organ donor months before the crash and made his wishes known to his parents. Upon the Humboldt Broncos crash, Logan’s parents donated his organs and saved 8 lives that day. For those of us living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), we know the harsh reality to this disease is requiring a lung transplant to survive. Logan has become my personal hero!
There are many Canadians who die every day waiting for an organ because while most (90%) of our country believes in organ donation, less than 25% of the country were registered donors. However, Logan Boulet and what has since emerged as the Logan Boulet effect has changed these numbers dramatically. This is what the Humboldt Broncos crash has to do with IPF: the number of Canadians with PF who will require a lung transplant will be significantly more likely to receive one because of Logan’s selfless act of donating his organs on April 7th 2018.
Today is Green Shirt Day here in Canada. Oddly enough, it also marks the 3rd year anniversary of my IPF diagnosis – I’m feeling a bit emotional today!
Thank you Logan for raising awareness about the importance of organ donation in Canada. My only wish is that you know the impact you’ve made on others wherever you might be now. Rest in peace.
April 9, 2019 at 8:04 pm #18279Katie BagshaweParticipant
Wow Charlene, what a heartbreaking but inspiring story. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of this before as it is such an awful tragedy for the team and all those involved, even the fans and the community. What a devastating impact it must have been, but a powerful message to encourage organ donation which as you say, can only be a positive thing.
We’ve had similar news here in England as a new law has been passed that means the population will be automatically opted in for organ donation unless they actively opt out. This reverses the old method where you had to opt in. This was on the cards for years as it had successfully been implemented in Wales, but was accelerated after a young girl donated her heart to a young boy, and the parents championed the need for there to be better systems at enabling organ donation to take place.
It’s wonderful news that out of even the worst thing imaginable to happen, a domino effect of good has been triggered that in return will save thousands more lives as people choose to give the gift of life even after their own death. A bittersweet ending for some, but hopeful for those who will be relying on organs to save their future.
April 10, 2019 at 9:59 am #18305
Thanks so much for writing, this is such a special topic for me so I was curious to hear how forum members might react to the news of my sharing it. What a selfless act of kindness Logan and his family gave, huh? Pretty amazing, especially given such a difficult time for them. All organ donors and their families are my heroes and I certainly wore my Green Shirt Day in honor of Logan this past Sunday!
I am so glad that the UK has been leading the charge on the opt-out process for organ donation, I think this is so important. Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to adopt this as well on April 1st of this year, and other provinces are soon looking to follow suit. I know I am bias, but I truly hope they do as this is so important. So many Canadian patients awaiting transplant don’t survive because donation rates in Canada are too low.
Thanks for sharing the link to the story in the UK as well, I’ll take a look at it as soon as I can – really busy trying to keep up on replies, the forum is quite busy these days.
April 10, 2019 at 10:29 am #18310AnonymousInactive
What an emotional story and topic for us …
I never thought about organ donation before my diagnisis in Januray 2017.
I have now my donor card always in my pocket (in case of). My lungs are diseased but the other are (crossing fingers) in very good shape and I really would like to take this opportunity to give it if possible. Here in France, law is not very clear … by default every one opted in for donation, you can opt out yourself, but family can also argue that you opted out without proof. It is the reason why we are keeping donor’s cards. Important thing is also to be clear with the family that it is our opinion and wilingness.
A difference with Uk is that it is anonymous, meaning that the family of the receiver will never know who was giving the organ. I saw some emotional testimonies from UK and other countries about receivers thanking the donor’s family talking of the donor as the Heroe. To be honest I don’t understand why we have this anonymous principle.
April 10, 2019 at 11:11 pm #18326Katie BagshaweParticipant
Hi Jean, the French system sounds the same as us in the UK in that relatives can block consent even if the person made it clear their wishes were to donate organs. They still actively encourage the conversation to ensure this doesn’t happen. There has also been press coverage lately regarding how some organs are wasted because of a lack of resources to actually transplant, this is pretty disappointing to hear.
The anonymous tool is there definitely, although donors and receivers can contact each other but the Nursing team usually arrange and sort this after the fact. I can understand from both points of view why people would or wouldn’t want to be anonymous. I read a book recently about two boys whereby one donated his heart to the other, it was devastating to read, especially from the point of the view of the mother who lost her son and the tremendous grief she felt but by reaching out with the donor she felt a part of her son was still alive. However, it must be a very complex and difficult road to navigate on both parts.
This video brought me to tears when I saw it on Twitter, it also seems to have been adopted to be more of a common practice now in hospitals to show respect to those about to do the ultimate sacrifice in donating organs after death. Such a wonderful honor and notion to do.
April 10, 2019 at 10:43 am #18311
Completely agree with you Jean-Michel, about the importance of this topic. Especially since I’ll rely on someone donating their lungs in the future, its very near and dear to my heart. I know it is a tough topic to talk about, but so important too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, the story is very special to me… what inspiration came out of such tragedy.
April 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm #18317AnonymousInactive
I also love this … few similar links on youtube … Medical staff stopped what they were doing to line the walls of a hospital in Idaho, joining family and friends in a powerful show of respect for an organ donor. (Credit: Saint Luke’s Health System, Meridian, Idaho) :
April 11, 2019 at 7:10 pm #18341
Hi Jean Michel,
I could sure use your knowledge of the french language here in Quebec City! We’re making do okay, but so obvious how bad my speaking, reading and understanding of French is 🙂
Yes my colleagues showed me the video of honoring the organ donation, and it sure made me tear up. Such an amazing tribute video, I wish/hope all hospital do this in future. Organ donors and their families are true heroes and really need to be recognized for their ultimate and selfless gift.
Thanks for sharing!
April 12, 2019 at 6:54 am #18346
Thanks Jean-Michel, so far we’re doing pretty good and everyone has been so kind to us 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend.
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