B.C. marks 50 years of organ donations, transplants
Jim Fong, CTV News Vancouver
Published Friday, July 19, 2019 4:58PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 22, 2019 3:45PM PDT
Five thousand B.C. transplant recipients are alive today because of organ donations.
Minister of Health Adrian Dix made the announcement Friday at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver with more than 50 people in attendance.
“Today, right now, there’s 5,000 people living in B.C. who are organ transplant recipients—5,000,” said Dix.
Also in attendance were double-organ recipient 31-year-old Geoffrey Dunsire and his organ donor, Debi Pearce.
“They call it the gift of life but as a donor, it's been a gift to be able to give,” Pearce said. “I feel empowered. I feel positive to impact another person’s life to that degree. I don’t know if you can really know how it feels like until you experienced it. And I just feel good in my soul. I feel wonderful.”
Dunsire had a liver transplant six years ago. Just last month, he received his second transplant—a kidney donated by Pearce.
"It's extremely empowering that someone would give up their life originally for my liver,” Dunsire told CTV News. “Then Debi giving up her kidney—there’s no words really.”
Today’s announcement follows another achievement. It was in 1969 that B.C. started organ transplants and this year marks the 50th year of organ donations and transplants.