Double-lung transplant recipient hoping to change Canada's organ donation laws
TORONTO -- Myles Lynch grew up with cystic fibrosis and by the age of 17, his lungs had deteriorated to the point that he needed a double-lung transplant, which he got at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
But after two years, the 22-year old said his body began to reject those lungs and he needed a new pair.
Then it happened a second time.
So last fall he got a third set of lungs transplanted at Toronto General, home of the largest lung transplant centre in the world.
Three double-lung transplants in the space of five years is a record in Canada. But it was the extremely difficult recovery from his second transplant that had him worried there may be similar complications with his third.
“I’m doing very well now,” Lynch said with relief.
In fact, the Cornwall, Ont. resident has been travelling across the country trying to spread the word about the need for organ donor registration. And in mid-January, he set up a petition to try and make presumed consent the law in Canada.
“As other countries around the world have adopted this “opt out” program, they’ve seen organ donation rates 25-30% higher than countries with an opt-in program, which Canada currently has,” Lynch told CTV News Toronto,
Opting out means a person would have to formally register that they do not wish to become an organ donor after they die. That’s the opposite of the current system, in which people must formally register their wish to become an organ donor.
Nova Scotia has passed a law to have presumed consent, but the legislation doesn’t take effect for several months. Ontario has also been examining the option.
Lynch says he has the required 500 signatures on his petition to present it to parliament, he even has the support of his local MP, Eric Duncan. But he says he’s still trying to get even more signatures.
The deadline for signatures on the petition is April 27, 2020.
There are currently more than 4,500 Canadians in need of an organ transplant. Last year, 260 Canadians died on the waiting list.