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This year, 35 volunteers will visit 23 pre- and post-transplant clinics and care centres, including an additional 13 transplant pharmacies (where possible). Our transplant recipients, living donors and donor families get to share their heartfelt thank you messages and inspiring stories face-to-face with their transplant heroes.
In 2022, volunteers are looking forward to resuming delivery of treats in person. Last year, thank you packages were mailed directly to the locations and in 2020, we honoured our transplant heroes by creating Gratitude Gardens placed around the province.
NewGen Pharmachoice in Abbotsford, BC works closely with the hospital transplant programs and the Surrey post-transplant clinic to ensure that transplant patients receive transplant medications in a safe and effective manner. Their dedicated staff help to monitor adherence, drug interactions, and appropriate dosing of immunosuppressants and other post-transplant related medications.
Andrew Leung, Pharmacist and Owner of NewGen Pharmachoice shares, "We are truly honoured to serve our Fraser Valley community of transplant recipients. Our team knows how important it is for our patients to receive their transplant medications and we are grateful to be part of the BC Transplant team."
Andrews adds that he loves being a part of a transplant recipient's journey from pre-transplant to post-transplant. Also serving as a BC Renal pharmacy, he often sees his patients go from being on dialysis to receiving a kidney transplant: "Seeing how happy they are to receive a transplant, and to be able to continue doing activities that bring them joy is wonderful. My team and I are passionate about providing the best possible care so that transplant patients receive the support they deserve in order to live a long and happy life," he shares.
NewGen Pharmachoice acted fast when they received urgent phone calls during the first day of the flood that devastated the Fraser Valley in November 2021. Andrew recalls a call with a transplant recipient's mother. "They were stuck in Hope and had only one to two days of transplant medications remaining," he says. "The landslides caused by the intense rain prevented them from getting back home to Abbotsford."
Initially, Andrew tried calling pharmacies in Hope but none of the locations had the medications this family needed. He hopped into his car and headed for a Chilliwack helicopter pad where he knew a pilot that could help, but soon realized the highway was already closed. Luckily, this family flew home safely the next day but Andrew knew the pharmacy would have to troubleshoot similar situations for other patients over the next few days.
The next day, Andrew called six people and finally connected with Chris, a helpful helicopter pad coordinator in Abbotsford. They put their heads together and devised an emergency plan to get their patients the medications they needed. On top of this, their scheduled delivery driver was stuck in Chilliwack due to the highway closures.
Working swiftly together, the plan involved grouping together as many deliveries as possible, Andrew driving the medication to the helicopter pad and Chris coordinating flights to Chilliwack so their delivery driver could get the medications out to each patient. The plan worked perfectly and they were even able to provide some same day deliveries.
"Catherine Cheung, pharmacist at the Surrey post-transplant clinic deserves a lot of credit as well," says Andrew. "She communicated between the patients, physicians, and our pharmacy team to make it happen. Lots of patients were running out of medications within one-two days, but we were able to help everyone thanks to the group effort!"
Everyone involved in the flood response efforts demonstrated that they are true Transplant Heroes to recipients. Thank you for what you do each and every day, and showing how you go above and beyond to provide excellent care.