Last year, B.C. saw more lung and heart transplants take place than ever before.
A record 55 people received a lung transplant in 2020 and 33, including three children, received a new heart.
The B.C. liver transplant record of 80 matched the 2017 record. There were also 280 kidney transplants that took place last year, including from 81 living donors.
“The success of organ transplant is a transformative feat of expertise, coordination and caring through the province, in every health authority,” Adrian Dix, health minister, said. “A total of 451 people in B.C. received a life-saving transplant in 2020. Today, there are 5,491 British Columbians alive thanks to the incredible generosity of organ donors.”
In 2020, 110 people donated organs after death as their families making a selfless decision in a moment of grief to gift life to others.
Jason Gray-Stanford, a Vancouver actor who received a heart transplant late last year after going unexpectedly into heart failure, is grateful for the future he now has before him.
“Because of my transplant I now have the freedom to do everything that I used to do and then some," Gray-Stanford said. "This heart is a gift for which I am forever grateful, and one that I shall never squander.”
The story of each successful transplant is also the story of multidisciplinary health professional teams who work in a coordinated way across the province, Eric Lun, BC Transplant’s executive director, said.
“The level of dedication and expertise on both sides of the organ donation and transplant journey is remarkable – whether providing compassionate care to organ donors and their families or caring for recipients before and after transplant," Lun said.
More than 1.5 million people have registered their organ donation decision in B.C.’s organ donor registry. As of Jan. 1, 2020, 737 people are still waiting for an organ transplant in B.C., and the need for donors remains high.
British Columbians are encouraged to take action and register their own decision about organ donation and share their wishes with family by visiting www.taketwominutes.ca.
For more information on becoming a donor and helping save lives, visit www.transplant.bc.ca.