A True Story – A son’s tragedy turns to hope for others


This is what Leslie does for a living….although not a nurse like Karen and Rob in this tragic story about Emerson, Leslie’s role with BC Transplant is just the same.  Educated as a social worker, now trained clinician in organ donation….we are proud to post this story of a mother and father who unexpectedly had to say good-bye to their son.  Leslie sees this almost every time she is on call…people say “how do you do it?” 

What makes her job bearable with all the tragedy and sudden deaths are families like Emerson’s.  And just as important is knowing colleagues of hers in other Provinces are being praised for their hard work, devotion to donation and families.  Families mean so much to us at BCT and obviously to organ donation specialists/coordinators no matter where.

Please read and register to be a donor where you live.  This is one of the most poignant posts we have ever posted.

Thanks.

“When the time came for my last farewell, I can tell you the knowledge he was going into organ donation surgery gave me great strength. I whispered to him how much he was loved by his mother, by his brothers and sister. I told him that his final act in life was incredible and inspiring. And then I turned my back and walked out of his hospital room, pausing for one last glimpse of my son.

This is the story of Emerson’s organ donation.”

A son's tragedy turns to hope for others

Emerson Curran, who was killed in Yellowknife during the weekend of August 24-25, 2013

Photograph by: Jillian Gummo

My wife and I made our first trip to Edmonton on the weekend of Aug. 24. It was a trip that left our lives shattered and introduced a depth of sadness that we never could have imagined. Yet we left the city with a degree of comfort, knowing that our profound loss was the gain of many others. Continue reading

Graduated my BC Transplant Training Period


Some might remember back in January of this year Leslie switched careers.  She went from being an Intensive Care Social Worker for 13 years at a Vancouver Hospital to an Organ Donation Specialist/In Hospital Organ Donation Coordinator.  UPDATE:

After being in training with a preceptor since mid March I have officially graduated and was signed off on Tuesday at BC Transplant as an independent practitioner with a mentor. This seriously has been and still is one of the hardest things I have done career wise. Learning critical care medicine in practice is a whole other ball of wax versus being a social worker and knowing medicine in layman’s terms.

I will always be in training as there is still so much to learn and do in my two roles but to be honest in the beginning I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s my first week  on call by myself technically speaking but will always have back up.  That is how we do it at BC Transplant.  You should never feel alone while doing call and I don’t.  Here’s to continue success and a long healthy career with organ donation.  

AN INCREDIBLE GIFT


An incredible gift CLICK HERE

St. Paul’s Hospital is where Leslie used to work.  She knows Dr. Grant very well, has worked with the ICU many times and is proud to share this article raising awareness about organ donation.  This is very near and dear to Leslie’s heart as she is now Organ Donation Specialist as well as a Hospital Organ Donation Coordinator for Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC.  Please take a second to read!  Thanks!

Greg Grant is an ICU doctor at St. Paul's and the head of B.C. Transplant.

Greg Grant is an ICU doctor at St. Paul’s and the head of B.C. Transplant.

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, PNG , The Province Continue reading

Heading to Tempe Arizona for work and then some R&R


Heading out of town June 14th to take a course down in Tempe Arizona.  Cheryl is coming along for some well deserved R&R.  While I will be in a course for 4 days, Cheryl will be tanning by the pool in over 100 degree heat!  No bikes for this trip but hopefully a trip to the Grand Canyon will be on the agenda.  Good news though, we are heading out on July 9th for about 2 weeks on a road trip.  Finally, we will get out.  It’s been a long few months since I, Leslie started my new career with BC Transplant in organ donation back in January.  Have not really had a break since January 16th.  I will be doing a post on my 6th month anniversary with BCTS when I get signed off of probation mid July.

Stay tuned as even when traveling via plane we still make it an adventure!

Initiative Project: Raising Awareness of BC Transplants


This is where Leslie works now.  BC Transplant. 

After two months of intensive training with another 6 more to go at least.  Whenever I may have a doubt as to why I took this incredible yet stressful job something like this video comes across my computer and I am reminded why I am devoting myself to organ donation. Not a top notch quality video but it’s the thought that counts!

Music: How To Save a Life – Grey’s Anatomy Cast

For my English class I had to do this project which has now become VERY near and dear to my heart. Thank you to Tyler Smith and BC Transplants.

2012 Critical Care Conference – Whistler, BC


February 22nd, 2012 (ALL PICS ARE CLICK-ABLE)

My continuing story and journey training to learn the part of an organ Donation Specialist which in turn I also will learn to be an In Hospital Organ Donation Coordinator.  Part of the training is networking, traveling to shadow other coordinators and meet colleagues in the industry.  I know tough life but it’s not as easy as it looks. The below video I just think is so appropriate in more ways than one.

Continue reading

ARE YOU AN ORGAN DONOR? Now that I got your attention…..please read


This is not a post to lecture anyone about whether or not you should be a registered organ donor but a post about raising awareness about the need for organ donation, my new career, my latest trip to Toronto to visit Trillium Gift for Life Network and see first hand how Hospital Coordinators perform their role and my visit to Toronto in February. Also, to let you in on how complicated organizing the retrieval and getting organs to the recipients really is in real life. Many people believe once a family consents to organ donation there are these people who show up with coolers to just take the organs. There is wayyyyyyyy more to this!

I won’t bore you with stats either but organs save many lives and long wait lists speak volumes. This is not just for the motorcyclist out there, I hope everyone will read through this post.

****If you take anything away from this post I hope it’s this: Talk about what you would want if something were to happen to you. Meeting organ donation criteria is very difficult even if you want to be a donor but what is even more difficult is watching families struggle with the question, “would he/she want to be a donor?” If you are not registered at least have the conversation with a loved one what your wishes would be in a time when you can not advocate for yourself. I have been with too many families and friends of patients who just did not know the answer because end of life discussions never occurred and by the time they meet someone like me it is too late.****

Let someone know! Can’t hurt to have your last wish become a life saving one.

To learn more about how to register or to become a donor in your area Google it or for BC go to the BC Transplant Home Page or Click here for BC Online Registration

We are working on a new and improved site or in Ontario head to Trillium Gift of Life Network  or  Click Here for Ontario Online Registration

Continue reading