BC reaches heart transplant milestone -- the 500th recipient

(WEB)-Heart Transplant Milestone/Parksville man         SH/Phones/Aug 8   

BC's Health Minister Adrian Dix is applauding a major milestone reached in the province.  It's been 30 years since heart transplants began being performed in B.C., and now the 500th patient has received the life-saving surgery.

That patient is a 33-year-old Vancouver resident -- Marc Bain -- who received his new heart following a 10 month wait, and say he's grateful for a second chance at life.

71-year-old Parksville resident Ron Wakefield also knows that feeling.

" I was just very, very lucky to be able to have it done. I'd like to think that I'm kind of , I think, a little bit younger. I still like to work and stuff. There's some things that I'm not going to try and do anymore of course. But yeah, I just think it's great."

Ron had been working at Eureka environmental weather station in the Arctic until August 2016, when he returned home seriously ill, and was put on the transplant list.  He got his surgery just over a year ago. 

" The Royal Jubilee, Dr. Elizabeth Swiggam and her team are absolutely fantastic and caring. Number one. Number two, St Paul's ... if I had to rate them and 10 was top, I would rate from the
janitor, kitchen people, nurses, doctors, directors, you name it, I'd give them all a 20."

Ron says he may be 71, but he has the heart of a 30-year-old, and he is grateful to the donor.

More than 1.2 million British Columbians have registered in the Organ Donor Registry. Meanwhile, more than 600 British Columbians are on the wait list for an organ transplant.

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