When there's an inquiry by phone from the general public with questions on "How do I register?" or "I'm having a problem with registering, can you help me?" Patricia is likely the one to respond. While she's helping to troubleshoot these queries daily, Patricia also spends her time running reports and entering transplant recipient information into our systems.
"Working with BC Transplant and the health care system for over seven years now gives me fulfillment", shares Patricia, "I love the opportunity to help out the public."
Patricia also says that helping people understand what organ donation is all about, and then helping them register as organ donors is the most rewarding part of her job. "I enjoy being part of a team that saves lives," she says.
What would you say are some of the most common misconceptions you hear about organ donation?
There are three that I hear the most often. The first is that everyone will become an organ donor, whether they are registered or not. In reality, approximately 1% of the population will pass in a way that makes them eligible to donate. This answer surprises people.
Second is that people don't think they have a say regarding organ donation. We respect all individuals and encourage people to register their decision and talk to their families about it. If people decide to register a "no", we respect that too.
People also ask what happens to their body after organ donation and assume that it remains with the hospital. I always reassure them that the organ donation and health care teams will take utmost respect with the individual at the time of organ donation. After which, their body is released to the family for funeral purposes.
What are some of your memorable moments with BC Transplant?
I still remember when we reached one million British Columbians registered in the Organ Donor Registry – what a milestone. I also really enjoy meeting and hearing from the transplant recipients when they come around during Operation Popcorn in December to thank the staff.
Patricia with her husband, Matthew
What does International Women's Day mean to you and do you have a message to share?
International Women's Day is a time to celebrate all women globally, no matter what they are doing or where they are in life. Women have their own voice and a unique perspective, which allows them to make a safer more inclusive world.
My message is to keep going forward, no matter how difficult life is. Find the women that inspire you most in your daily lives to draw from their positive energy and from their experiences.
What woman inspires you, and why?
I'm lucky in the sense that I do not have one woman that inspires me but an army of women that inspire me. I come from a diverse background of strong women who have all inspired me in different ways. They have taught me to be independent and to go after my dreams no matter the size.