Ontario sets record for number of organ donors and transplants
Published Thursday, July 4, 2019 2:02PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 4, 2019 8:05PM EDT
The Trillium Gift of Life Network says an unprecedented 388 lives in Ontario were saved in the first three months of this year thanks to increased organ donations and transplants.
During the first few months of 2019, 106 deceased donors gave the gift of life to patients desperately in need of organs.
An additional 553 donors helped by providing eyes, skin, bones and heart valves to those in need.
"I oversee the health of patients on the wait list. On behalf of those waiting for a transplant - we are thrilled by these results,” said transplant specialist Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman of Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital.
The Trillium Gift of Life Network has encouraged increased donations by changing protocols surrounding the terminally ill so that more people who are medically eligible can consider organ donation as part of their end-of-life care.
Grey Brett, who has an autoimmune condition that attacks the liver, had a life-saving transplant in June 2015. Since then, he’s embraced life with renewed determination, even winning a gold medal at the 2017 World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain.
He says the record-breaking statistics are “fantastic.”
“Anything that gives more people in need a second chance at life is a great thing.”
But despite the record results, Trillium Gift of Life CEO Ronnie Gavsie says “the need for transplant continues to outweigh the number of organs available."
Right now, 34 per cent of Ontarians are registered as potential organ donors.