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After 17 years of hand-written letters, heart recipient thanks her donor family in person

Imagine being able to meet the family of heroes who made a decision that saved your life 18 years ago. For heart transplant recipient Carrie Jung, this dream came true.
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After anonymously corresponding for almost 17 years, she finally got to hug the family of Darcy Doherty, her organ donor. She met Darcy’s mother Marie and brother Daryl over an emotional and happy face-to-face meeting in February 2020.

 

“I’d just like to thank her for all the years she’s corresponded with mom and kept her up to date knowing that her life is much better after the donation. That was the important part,” says Daryl.

In November 2019, BC Transplant expanded the way contact occurs between donor families and adult transplant recipients by formalizing the process to initiate direct contact and meet face-to-face if both parties agree. Since launching the new policy, BC Transplant has facilitated direct contact between eight transplant recipients and donor families of which two, were face-to-face meetings.

Marie lost her son Darcy in June 2002, when he was just 37 years old.  She never could have imagined the special relationship she would later build with the woman who received Darcy’s heart through organ donation. Carrie’s life also completely changed that day as she became the lucky heart recipient of Darcy’s selfless gift. Carrie had been on the transplant list for seven years after being diagnosed with heart failure, and this new heart meant a second chance at life for her.

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“It’s just been so meaningful to me to be able to share with you how I’ve lived my life as a result of Darcy’s heart,” said Carrie.

Carrie is proud to call Marie her “second mom”. “Darcy lives on in me and I have never forgotten that if it weren’t for this heart I would not have lived. The traveling, the friends, the life experiences, the work - just everything that I’ve done is because of this gift,” shares Carrie as she wipes away tears.

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Their face-to-face meeting – one of the first ever in BC – demonstrates the life-changing power of organ donation for both donor families and their recipients. BC Transplant is one of two Canadian jurisdictions that now offers direct contact support.

As of May 31, 2020 there are 805 people in BC waiting for an organ transplant. Register as an organ donor today and have that important conversation with your family.  
 

 
 
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