‘I’m not on borrowed time, I’m on gifted time’

Transplant recipients said thank you with popcorn at Langley Memorial Hospital, Tuesday afternoon

Three organ recipients and a donor walked into Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH) Tuesday afternoon carrying giant red gift boxes filled with popcorn. The reason? To say thank you.

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

Regulars Diane Fox, who donated a kidney to husband Charlie, were joined by Donna Zeiler from White Rock and Chuck Puchmayr New Westminster, both recipients of liver donations.

Clad in shirts that read “ask me about my transplant,” none of the volunteers were shy about telling people why they were there.

“It’s what you do that you don’t always get to see,” said Zeiler to a group of nurses in the Intensive Care Unit.

“I’m a two-time liver donation recipient – the first go-round was not the outcome we were hoping for, but the 2nd time everything worked. Thanks to you, we’re better now,” she said.

‘Without you, it doesn’t work,” Puchmayr told the health care professionals, clutching their unexpected snack.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it,” he said. “We’re here because of organ donors and because of you”

After hugs, handshakes, and countless utterances of the words “thank you,” the staff at LMH had a treat to get them through the afternoon; a small token that the BC Transplant volunteers said doesn’t even begin to sum up their appreciation.

“People always use the phrase ‘borrowed time,’ but I’m not on borrowed time, I’m on gifted time,” Puchmayr added. “Thank you for that gift.”

READ MORE: Transplant patients bring a popcorn thank-you to Langley Memorial Hospital

To find out more about Operation Popcorn and to become an organ donor, visit www.transplant.bc.ca.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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