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Ontario Organ Donation Advocate Recieves Double Lung Transplant

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by AragornElessar, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

    Many around here had heard about Helene Campbell, a 20 year old from Ottawa who thanks to contacting Justin Bieber and Ellen Degeneres, managed to do more for Organ Donation Awareness in just a few months here in Ontario, than anything the Trillium Gift of Life organization has done in years. Justin tweeted about her and also to tell his fans to talk about Organ Donation w/their Family and also sign up to become Organ Donors.

    In the 24/48 hrs after he tweeted that, not only were the Gift of Life offices flooded w/calls for more information, but their web site also crashed twice due to the increased traffic. The number of people who decided to become Organ Donors during the week following Justin's tweet literally quadrupled.

    Ellen heard about Helene and what had happened, so decided to surprise her via Skype. Helene thought she was going to be talking w/a producer, but... :D Ellen sent Helene and her Mom to the Toronto Hunger Games premiere, but I don't know if she got to go or not just due to how fast Helene was deteorating the last few weeks. Ellen also told her that after she had her transplant and everything recovery wise was good, she would bring her out to LA w/her Family so they could dance together.

    Last week, His Excellency the Rt Hon David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, awarded Helene The Order of Ontario for all she had done to bring Organ Donation Awareness into the public eye. When I saw the footage of that little ceremony in his office, I honestly thought it would be the last time I'd see Helene alive. Her colour was worse than awful and she could barely speak due to needing to literally have to suck in breath for just each word.

    Thankfully as of this morning, she's got a chance. Her transplant took place at Toronto General Hospital early this morning.

    CBC News ~ Ottawa organ-donation advocate has new lungs : Hélène Campbell not 'out of the woods' after double-lung transplant

    As some know, I'm a Kidney Transplant Recipient and through my experiences, I've seen what the Lung Transplant recipients go through w/their recovery. It's not an easy road regardless of how smoothly things go after the surgery and transistion period of getting the drug cocktail just right, but God willing they do for Helene.

    At least now she's got a chance.

    I know some here would have seen her on Ellen, so thought I'd post a thread to share the news. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers everyone. As I and that article says, she's not out of the woods yet.
  2. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member


    I have a friend with cystic fibrosis who got a double lung transplant in 2003 and she's still doing great. She was out of the woods pretty early and was out of the hospital after 2 weeks though. I hope Helene has the same luck! :(

    Everyone should consider organ donation. I signed the form and had the little pink dot on my driver's license and talked about it with my mom the minute I received it.
  3. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    I've never understood why anyone would not want to be an organ donor. I know several families who have received life-saving organs, and it all comes down to a signature.

    For Australians, please remember that "Even if you have previously expressed an intention to donate organs and/or tissue—for example, by ticking a box on a driver licence renewal or registering elsewhere—it is important you update your details by registering your decision to be an organ and/or tissue donor on the Donor Register."

    Australian Organ Donor Register Registration

    Australian Organ Donor FAQ

    Medicare also advises that "it is important for the individual to discuss their decision with their family or those close to them as they will be asked to give consent. The individual’s family or those close to them will be asked to confirm they had not changed their mind since they recorded their donation decision. Families that know each other’s donation decisions are more likely to uphold them."

    I'm delighted for Hélène Campbell and her family, and wish them all the best for a fabulous recovery. Too many families do not see this day. :(
  4. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

    To add on to what I bolded there in Angelskates' post, we were also told when we went down to our London for my Assessment that having that talk about wanting to be an Organ Donor w/your loved ones is more important than many would think. If you've ticked off that portion of your Driver's Licence/have a card stating you want to be a Donor, if your Family/Loved Ones didn't know you wanted to be an Organ Donor and say no when asked, even if they're told you wanted to be and put that on the respective documentation, there's nothing the Medical Staff can do about it.

    In fact, there are stories out there of Hospitals being sued over this very thing. Even though the documentation was there showing the person wanted to be a Donor and the Team went ahead w/the Retrieval, because the Family didn't know about it and were outraged about it all, sued the Hospital for Malpractice.

    My Doctor down there told us he was sick and tired of not being able to help more Patients due to Families not knowing Mom/Dad/Loved One wanted to be a Donor, said no to the request and in turn... :(

    So please, please, please not only sign that card, tick off the little box, fill out the card and keep that on you, but also have that talk w/your Family. That's equally as, if not more, important as filling out those forms.

    Also consider being a Stem Cell Donor. There was a young lady in Toronto at a drive in the Chinatown area last weekend trying to find a Donor for herself. She's Asian, but also has a very rare blood type, so finding a Donor for her is like looking for a needle in a haystack. She was hoping w/the drive last weekend to help add more minority donors to the Registry. I forget the exact numbers the Rep w/the Cdn Blood Services said, but I think it was 15-20% of finding a match, if anyone in a minority group such as Korean, Phillipino, Iranian, etc needs a Stem Cell Transplant.

    So please consider that as well. All it is now is a simple cheek swab to go on to the Stem Cell Registry here in Canada and who knows how many could be helped by that simple swab.
  5. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I agree with you. I know a few people with firm religious objections, and while I don't agree with them (and we are the same religion) I guess I respect that. But I know other people who think it is "icky".

    Another very easy thing to do is to sign up to be a bone marrow donor. The chance of being called is pretty slim for most people, but the procedures they use now to take the donation are apparently pretty painless compared to years gone by. It is a simple thing to do that could save someones life. But it is still a sacrifice compared to organ donation- I mean, once you're dead, what do you need them for? (Ah- I see this is the same as what you call "stem cell donation" I've never heard it called that. The only stem cell donation I'd heard of is cord blood. But stem cell is a hugely negative buzzword in the US to many people. Makes sense they would name it differently. Stem Cells = Embryonic Stem Cells = Dead babies)
  6. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    At least part of the issue is structural: when my mom died in the hospital, the nurse charged with transplant solicitations had to ask right then as we were all in a daze. They quickly determined that her medical history precluded using her corneas, but I do remember that it was very abrupt at a tough time. I think had my dad been there alone that he would have had a very hard time coping with leaving her at that moment.
  7. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    barbk, I'm not talking about this, though - I can not fully donate either, though I am willing to (what can not be used, will go to science). I'm saying I don't understand why someone would not want to donate. I think it's an important thing to discuss, because I wouldn't want my family unsure of my wishes. Making them clear means there's nothing to think about when I die and the question is asked. I want to donate everything that can be used, and what can't be used will go to science or thrown in the bin; I've no need for any of it. My family has discussed it, and our burial choices, and think this is really important, not matter the decision made. If I die before my family, I know they will respect my wishes and follow the doctor's requests - if that means they need to say goodbye to me quickly so they can use my organs immediately, I want them to do that out of respect for me (honestly, someone else probably needs the bed too, these days). Someone dying is never easy, but I hope those close to me take comfort from following my wishes that may actually save another life, or lives.
  8. nlyoung

    nlyoung Active Member

    I donated a kidney to my Mom 5 year ago and she is doing great with no side effects from the medication. In other words, ours was a successful transplant for all involved.

    At the same time as we were going through this, one of my husband's colleagues received a kidney from a stranger whose spouse received a kidney from his spouse. This is the way of the future for those looking for a match. In fact, another good friend and colleague of my husband (he's a computer scientist) has developed the software now being used for multi donor transplants, with multiple recipients in different states/provinces arranged through a kidney transplant registry. It's gratifying now to hear stories of the selfless donors who can trigger multiple transplant surgeries as the benefits get passed down the line. They are the true heroes in the story. Mine was a selfish act, as I got to keep my mom healthy, not to mention that she has to be really nice to me all the time now ;) (not that she wasn't before...:))
    cygnus and (deleted member) like this.
  9. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

    That is wonderful news!! So happy to hear everything's going well for the both of you. :)

    You're talking about Donor Trees right? Back in the Fall Dr. Oz did a segment on his show about them and how many people are now free of Dialysis and/or off their medications needed because of Liver Failure. Living donation for Liver Transplant is also now more common, as the Liver can regenerate itself. Anyway...ITA w/you. I think this will end up being the future of Organ Donation and the people who end up being helped by the Gift of Life thanks to a Donor Tree is truly amazing.

    And that was not a selfish act giving your Kidney to your Mom. AFAIC, you're just as much a hero as you saved a life. :)