The father of a Revelstoke resident who died in a snowboarding incident in February of 2011 is encouraging everyone to consider signing up to be an organ donor.
Evan Donald died on Feb. 23 after he became entrapped in a tree well and suffocated while on a heli-skiing excursion near Revelstoke.
Donald, 23, was transported to hospital where he died. His organs were used for six different life-saving transplants.
Evan Donald’s father James Donald travelled from New Brunswick to Vancouver for an Oct. 25 ceremony held by BC Transplant at the Cecil Green Park House at UBC.
The intimate service brought together families of organ donors with those who’d been given a new lease on life through organ donation.
James Donald said the emotional evening was “bittersweet.” About 60 people gathered to share their stories, including several young persons who were saved from debilitating and potentially fatal chronic ailments by their transplant.
“The younger people, they’ve got their whole lives ahead of them now – instead of the alternative,” Donald told the Times Review.
“The way I say it sometimes is, ‘The best day of one person’s life is the worst day of somebody else’s,’” Donald said. “That’s the way I look at it – to give people another chance.”
Donald noted that Revelstoke resident Tyler Smith’s life was transformed just a few days after Evan Donald passed away. Smith suffered from a chronic heart condition that had left him sick for most of his life. Since receiving the transplant his health has improved radically.
BC Transplant maintains confidentiality and doesn’t disclose the identity of donors and recipients to each other.
Donald commended the work of BC Transplant, a provincial organization that connects donors with recipients and provides many services to both.
Donald encourages everyone to consider becoming a registered donor. You can begin the registration process online at transplant.bc.ca, or by calling 1-800-663-6189.