A life saved thanks to a generous organ donor and Hope Air flights

A life saved thanks to a generous organ donor and Hope Air flights

PEI resident and mother of two, Trina gave the most selfless gift of an anonymous living organ donation. With support from Hope Air she received the financial support she needed to travel from her hometown of Tignish for the liver transplant surgery in Toronto.

Trina was first introduced to the need in her teens when she learned of a neighbour’s daughter who needed a bone marrow transplant. Instinctually, Trina and her sister stepped up, wanting to help their neighbour. They went to their local donor centre to get their blood tested for compatibility, but unfortunately, they were not a match.

Although she was not able to help, this experience opened her eyes to this urgent, yet often overlooked medical need. Since then, Trina has done her part by regularly donating blood.
PEI resident and mother of two, Trina gave the most selfless gift of an anonymous living organ donation. With support from Hope Air she received the financial support she needed to travel from her hometown of Tignish for the liver transplant surgery in Toronto.

Trina was first introduced to the need in her teens when she learned of a neighbour’s daughter who needed a bone marrow transplant. Instinctually, Trina and her sister stepped up, wanting to help their neighbour. They went to their local donor centre to get their blood tested for compatibility, but unfortunately, they were not a match.

Although she was not able to help, this experience opened her eyes to this urgent, yet often overlooked medical need. Since then, Trina has done her part by regularly donating blood.
A few years ago, she stumbled upon an article about a local man needing a liver and while reading she learned the steps to sign up as an organ donor. At that time, all Trina thought of was, “someone might need my help, and I’m happy to help.” She signed her name, thinking she will be put on a list for potential organ donation sometime in the future.

To her surprise, that came sooner than anticipated. She received a call from UHN’s organ donor program explaining the process with her, including having to travel to Toronto for three weeks for bloodwork and other tests. As a single parent, she felt completely overwhelmed at the logistics and the running costs of this process.

The decision to donate an organ is a significant one, with the encouragement of her sister, she started the lengthy process with the mantra to take it “one step at a time.” From booking a doctor’s appointment, to watching YouTube videos on liver transplants, to thinking about the soon-to-be scar on her belly, she took each step as it came and broke things down into small parts.

Despite not knowing how she would travel to Toronto, she began the process. Trina decided if it meant putting the travel onto her credit card and paying off later, she would do it if it meant saving a life.

During one of the appointments prior to her travel to Toronto, Trina was introduced to Hope Air. Hope Air covered the cost of her and an escort’s two-way travel to the hospital in Toronto as well as accommodation in the city as she completed testing before the surgery. She received the same assistance later for another week for her surgery and recovery period.

Eliminating these financial barriers Trina faced is one thing she is most grateful for. “Being able to go to an organization like Hope Air, whose whole purpose is to help people who are struggling is such a relief,” says Trina, “It would be sad for someone to want to help, and they can’t.”

Trina aptly sums it up saying, “I want the nurses and the doctors to do what they are trained to do and to focus on that. I want to focus on my health and how I’m going to recover, and UHN’s donation and partnership allows Hope Air to do their part which is to book accommodation, get the patients to where they need to. Everyone has their piece in this puzzle, and this allows everyone to focus on what’s important for them.”
MATCHING GIFT! Donate today and double your impact!
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