Hospital Section Masthead

Local woman profoundly grateful following double lung transplant

“It’s like being reborn.”

There’s no hint of breathlessness in Debbie Kennedy’s voice. Twenty years of suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) ended on December 17th, when she received a double lung transplant.

The Dunsford woman is profoundly grateful to the transplant team at the Toronto General, but most of all, to the person who registered to be an organ donor, and to his or her family.

“I personally want to reach out to those people in their grief and say ‘look what you’ve done here.’ If they only knew how much it meant to me. You just can’t put it into words.”

Debbie has check-ups three times per week to make sure she’s healing well. And she’s already making a list of activities she intends to do with her family. “I’m going to take my family on a Disney cruise. I’ve missed five years with them, being able to do things with them.”

Debbie hopes that by sharing her story, she’ll encourage more people to register as organ and tissue donors. “It opens another door.”

During the month of March, Ross Memorial Hospital is encouraging the community to register consent for organ donation. On March 24th, RMH will host a donor registration drive with a special event in the main lobby (10am-2pm). Hospital staff will be available to answer questions about the organ and tissue donor program at RMH. Computers will be set up in the lobby, making it easy to log on and make your decision to save lives be known.

Currently in the City of Kawartha Lakes, there are 16 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant: 15 are waiting for a new kidney, and one needs a new liver.

The majority of Canadians agree that organ, eye and tissue donation is a good thing, but less than half are registered donors. In fact, in our community, only 40% have registered their consent through the province’s Trillium Gift of Life program. 

Many of us think that we are registered, since we signed a donor card that we carry in our wallets. However, a signed donor card is not recorded in the province’s database and may not be available when it’s needed. As Debbie Kennedy can attest, time is of vital importance when donation becomes possible.

One organ donor can save eight lives. Visit beadonor.ca/Ross-Memorial-Hospital and help us increase the list of registered donors. For more information about organ and tissue donation, visit beadonor.ca/about-donation.

 

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