Vancouver – This week, Eunice Barriga reached a milestone of two decades with a gifted heart. To mark the occasion, Eunice is delivering popcorn as part of BC Transplant's annual Operation Popcorn campaign and personally giving thanks to the health-care teams who make organ donation and transplant possible.
"Because of a family's unselfish gift, I had my heart transplant in December 2002. I have enjoyed a life with my family with so many wonderful years that I would not have had otherwise," says Eunice. "Operation Popcorn means so much because it gives me the opportunity to say 'thank you' to the health-care team for all they have done and continue to do."
Eunice will deliver popcorn to operating room and ICU teams at St. Paul's Hospital, the very hospital where she received her heart transplant 20 years ago.
For many staff in BC hospital intensive care units, emergency departments and operating rooms, Operation Popcorn kicks off their holiday season. It's a tradition that has been ongoing for 31 years where volunteer transplant recipients, living donors and families of deceased donors deliver festive packages of popcorn, and they share their stories directly with health-care staff. The campaign is their reminder of the people whose lives have been impacted through the work of health professionals supporting organ donors at the end of life.
"I am in support, wholeheartedly, of BC Transplant's Operation Popcorn campaign to raise public awareness about the positive impacts of organ donation," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "Also, my deepest gratitude to our incredible health-care professionals who are committed to saving patients' lives every day and supporting organ donors and their families with care and compassion."
This year 85 volunteers will deliver popcorn to 28 hospitals across the province.
"The health professionals in critical care units and operating rooms across the province provide unwavering care and compassion to organ donors and their families at a very difficult time," says Eric Lun, BC Transplant's executive director. "Their efforts result in hundreds of patients each year having their lives saved or improved through organ donation and transplant."
In this season of giving, British Columbians are encouraged to take two minutes to register as an organ donor at www.taketwominutes.ca. You can give hope to the more than 500 people and their families waiting for the call that will change their lives.
For more information on becoming a donor and helping save lives, visit:
Eunice Barriga on her transplant and Operation Popcorn
For more information on becoming a donor and helping save lives, visit: www.transplant.bc.ca
Irene Phan, Communications
Provincial Health Services Authority
Media Line: 778.867.7472