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B.C.’s first organ donation after MAiD case tells a beautiful story between husband and wife duo, Dan and Yvonne

Dan remembers his wife, Yvonne with love and awe as she lives on by giving many others a second chance at life.
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​(Dan,  Yvonne and their son, Billy)

What was the MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) organ donation journey like for you? 

Organ donation after MAiD was two-sided for me. I did not want to lose the love of my life, but knowing Yvonne was able to make her own decisions as to how and when she left us, were both devastating and rewarding.

To be the first ever MAiD donor in BC and the third in Canada was something we could not believe. We had assumed organ donation was as option for all – we were very fortunate with our timing. 
What did it mean to Yvonne, knowing she was going to be an organ donor after MAiD? 

Knowing she could be a donor after going through MAiD was such a huge relief and comfort for her. She seemed to know it was meant to be, and although our world together was ending she was happy she could help others live and love on.
Yvonne’s donation was important to our entire family at the end of her life, simply because she had to die. We do not know why it happened, but it came with a truly significant and meaningful statement. She will live on.

Was organ donation ever discussed in your family, prior to this time with Yvonne? 

We both knew through our years as blood donors and Yvonne’s volunteering with Red Cross, that if something like organ donation came up in our lies, that it would be something we would embrace. 

(Dan, tennis partner Robin and opponents in a tennis match held in honour of Yvonne)

How has the donation journey impacted your family?

The organ donation journey greatly impacted our family in many ways. The most profound way I think is the acceptance that although her life was cut so very short it could not have ended with more peace, dignity and love to pass on her organs so others may live.

What are some of your favorite memories with Yvonne?

There are so many favorite memories of Yvonne but one that stands out is when she gave birth to our son. We had been trying for five years to have a child and so it was the best moment in our lives. Yvonne was so kind and polite to everyone during a very trying delivery, they were all amazed.

(Family photo with Dan, Yvonne and Billy)

Is there a message you’d like to share with Yvonne’s recipients?

My message to the recipients of Yvonne’s organs is, “I know you will treasure what you have been so graciously given. But also know you are living with the most kind, gentle and loving soul that I have ever known and if you had ever met her, you would be totally in awe.”

Is there any advice you’d like to share with other donor families?

My advice to other donor families is simply this - please know and totally support your loved ones’ decision. I know it can be hard, very hard to accept what is going to happen, and if not at that moment, in time you will treasure what they have accomplished in their last moments of life.

(Yvonne gardening - one of her favorite activities)

View Dan's interview on our YouTube channel, he shares a heartfelt message about Yvonne and the legacy she has left behind:

Learn more about organ donation after MAiD with BCT's Organ Donation Specialist and In-Hospital Coordinator Bobbi Paquette:         

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