Transplant recipients annually deliver thanks to operating room staff as part of BC Transplant’s Operation Popcorn initiative. (Morning Star file photo)

B.C.’s 500th lung transplant, from Okanagan, delivers thanks

Judi Mori joins Operation Popcorn in Vancouver

A Vernon grandmother has an extra special reason to be thankful to care providers through BC Transplant’s Operation Popcorn this holiday season. In October, after waiting a year and a half, Judy Mori received British Columbia’s 500th lung transplant at Vancouver General Hospital.

“To think that less than two months ago I didn’t know what my fate would be and now I am breathing easy with lungs so kindly donated, I am humbled,” said Mori. “I am so grateful to all of the amazing staff in hospitals who make organ donation happen, and the staff on the wards and on the transplant teams who provide care. Thank you.”

Now in its 28th year, Operation Popcorn takes place Dec. 2-6. More than 100 BC Transplant volunteers deliver boxes of popcorn to health-care teams in 26 hospitals across the province.

This week, Mori will return to Vancouver General Hospital to show appreciation for the gift of life and the care she recently received in hospital. She joins other transplant recipients in thanking staff in the intensive care units and operating rooms who support organ donation and transplantation.

Mori, a retired nurse, mother of four, and grandmother to nine, is looking forward to quality time with her family and getting back to her active lifestyle, after suffering from interstitial lung disease over the last seven years.

“The holiday season is an excellent time to reflect on the generosity of those giving selflessly of themselves through organ transplant,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Through events like this, transplant recipients can thank the health-care teams that saved them, and we can all work to raise awareness of the power of organ donation. Remember that we still have over 700 British Columbians waiting for an organ transplant, and it’s in our power to save lives.”

Mori has now joined the growing group of more than 5,000 British Columbians alive today because of an organ transplant.

“Our dedicated team of health professionals continue to work hard and champion organ donation and transplant year after year in B.C. – we are so proud to be a Canadian leader,” said Ed Ferre, BC Transplant’s interim provincial executive director. “Operation Popcorn is a wonderful opportunity for our volunteer transplant recipients, living donors and donor family members to thank hospital staff during the holiday season. It’s a true full circle moment.”

“Behind every transplant are incredibly human stories – those of the transplant recipient, the organ donor, and the many healthcare professionals who come together to make donation and transplant happen,” said Dr. Yee, the surgeon who performed Mori’s lung transplant and director of the BC Lung Transplant Program. “As one of only four lung transplant programs in Canada, it’s a wonderful privilege for us to serve patients across BC through the delivery of world class care at Vancouver General Hospital.”

READ MORE: Campaign close to Vernon woman’s heart

READ MORE: Malerby’s years of nursing Vernon applauded


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