A 31-year-old Mission man is grateful for another chance at life, after receiving a kidney transplant last month from a living donor. It makes him the 5,000th person in British Columbia alive today because of an organ transplant.
Geoffrey Dunsire received a kidney from Debi Pearce, a 64-year-old realtor from Maple Ridge, who decided to step forward as a potential donor after meeting Dunsire and his family while finding them a new home.
This was Dunsire’s second organ transplant. He received an initial liver transplant six years ago at Vancouver General Hospital, but was so ill his kidney was damaged as well. Dunsire had been on dialysis for four years before his kidney transplant last month. Both Dunsire and Pearce are recovering well.
“There are literally no words to express how grateful I am to Debi for giving me the ‘gift of life’,” says Dunsire. “Thanks to her, I am ready to believe and hope for my future.”
“Donating a kidney has changed my life in so many ways,” says Pearce. “I feel empowered, positive, and so grateful to be able to help give Geoff back his ‘normal’ life again.”
“The success of organ transplant is a transformative feat of expertise, coordination, and caring through the province, in every health authority,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Even though we have 28 per cent of British Columbians registered in the Organ Donor Registry, we still have over 700 British Columbians waiting for an organ transplant. In 2018, 27 people died waiting. We need more people to register, to help save those who are waiting.”
This milestone comes as BC Transplant celebrates 50 years of organ donation and transplant, and demonstrates how far patient care has advanced in this province. The recent announcement was made possible by the thousands of living and deceased donors and their families who have chosen to give the gift of life.
Organ donation is considered only after all lifesaving efforts have been exhausted and it is certain that a person will not survive. Donor registration record is confidential, and only accessible by the donation team at BC Transplant.
As of July 1, 2019, more than 3,400 kidney transplant patients are currently monitored in B.C. There are more than 850 liver transplant patients, 300 heart transplant patients, and 275 lung transplant patients monitored in the province.
Only one per cent of people in B.C. die in a way that would permit them to be an organ donor, and people are more likely to need a transplant than they are to become a donor.
For more information on becoming a donor and helping save lives, visit www.transplant.bc.ca.