Many friends and neighbours have been asking me for an update on Diane’s status.
I’m happy to write we have a small number of potential living donors under evaluation at the Centre for Living Organ Donation at Toronto General Hospital, part of The University Health Network. It is the largest liver/kidney transplant centre in North America. To ensure confidentiality for potential donors, that is all the information the centre can provide.
With limited resources, the centre can only fully assess one potential donor at a time. Potential donors go through a preliminary assessment, and one is selected for full assessment. The others are kept in waiting in the event the first potential donor does not qualify. Our family is hopeful that we may have a qualified donor early in the new year.
Our website www.donor4diane.com has now had nearly 1,300 unique visitors and 69 people have moved forward to the donation portal. The compassion we have received from the community has been overwhelming. Diane wishes to express her sincere gratitude to everyone.
We had a scare back in October when Diane developed a brain infection know as hepatic encephalopathy (HE). I noticed her speech and mobility had slowed considerably. After a trip to TGH emergency department, she was admitted and treated by the liver team.
The physicians took this in stride (it seems HE is common in end-stage liver disease) but it scared the hell out of me. After four days in hospital and some powerful antibiotics, she was released. And none too soon! Having somewhat of a shortage of patience (no doubt I will hear about that comment) she couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital and back to her granddaughter. It seems the rest of us in the family are second class citizens since Olive was born.
So Diane is back to the “new normal” as she refers to her health status. In fact her MELD score (which determines her place on the wait list for donors) is now slightly lower, meaning she is even further away from a deceased donation.
The physicians keep advising us that Diane will have to be much sicker, perhaps near death, to be a candidate for a deceased donation. As you can imagine, this option has no appeal to any of us in the family. Hence, we are all focused on a living donation. The University Health Network created the world’s first comprehensive Centre for Living Organ Donation in 2018. They have been incredibly helpful to us and give us great hope. You might find this video of interest: https://www.uhn.ca/Transplant/Living_Donor_Program/Centre_for_Living_Organ_Donation?utm_source=LivingOrganDonation.ca&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=redirects.
There is also definitely change in the wind for deceased organ donation. Nova Scotia has already moved to “presumed consent,” Alberta may be passing similar legislation and I believe Ontario has a proposed bill in place. We hope all of Canada will follow: https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-may-follow-nova-scotia-s-lead-in-adopting-presumed-consent-for-organ-donation-1.4512874.
In the meantime, you can help others by consenting to a deceased donation if you haven’t already done so. Several lives can be saved by a single donor.
Thanks again for your compassion. What an amazing community!
(Now better known
as Diane’s husband)