Donovan was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was two months old. Six weeks later, his uncle – who also had CF – died while waiting for what would have been the second double-lung transplant in Canada.
The coating of liquid that would develop on the inside of his lungs made it increasingly hard for him to breathe as he grew up. When he wasn’t home sick or in hospital, he was a pretty normal kid growing up in Prince Albert.
Hear Donovan and his Mother tell his story of survival and renewed hope.
But the unrelenting progressive nature of his disease kept eating away at his health. In 2008, Donovan was 25 years old, near death and in an induced coma to keep him stable.
“You keep hoping that that time you’re seeing him isn’t going to be your last,” says his mom Beth. Her family’s hopes and prayers were answered when news came that a donor with lungs that were a match for Donovan was being kept on life support to allow their organs to be given to others.
Donovan awoke, not realizing that lungs had come available and he had undergone the transplant. He had to adjust to the idea of having a future to look forward to.
Donovan’s mom Beth held out hopes for an organ donation.
Donovan calls organ donation “an expression of love to somebody else that you don’t know. And it’s a very special gift that they’ll treasure forever.”
“The most important thing is to make your wishes known,” says Beth. “Had that perhaps not been discussed, we would not have our son today.”
Errin needed a kidney. She found her perfect match
On their third date, Errin told Chris she was on dialysis. The Saskatoon agricultural research manager never expected he would end up being her perfect match.
Errin’s father wanted to donate a kidney, but couldn’t for health reasons. Several other friends and family offered, but none of those options worked out either.
For Chris, offering to donate just made sense to him.
“When you love someone, and see that they’re sick and they need your help, I think anyone would do what I did. I think we have an obligation as humans to help each other. It wasn't hard at all to make that decision.”
“If I did not have her for the last 60 years of my life, how could I ever have looked back and think I made the right decision?”
When he saw Errin struggling with her health, Chris couldn’t think of a good reason not to donate a kidney.
Find out more about organ and tissue donations and talk to your family about your wishes.