WATCH ABOVE: A Vancouver Island man receives a new start at life thanks to his wife. Elaine Yong has the story.
VANCOUVER – Greta and Terry Picard from Nanaimo have been married for three decades.
But eight years ago Terry’s kidneys started failing and he had to go on dialysis, desperate for a kidney donor.
Just when it looked like there was nothing on the horizon, Greta decided to get tested to see if she could be the one.
Turns out she is.
“When you go years and years of not being able to do the things that you’ve always done, play tennis, swim, walk, run, I mean just, work, when you’re not able to do those things, it’s trying,” said Terry.
“It wears you out, so this is a godsend to us. This is really important.”
Greta said this was not a really difficult decision for her to make. “I told Terry 30 years ago you ain’t getting rid of me that easy you know,” she said.
“To keep him here I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him with me.”
This transplant was the 62nd living donor kidney transplant in B.C. this year.
B.C. has actually become national leaders in living transplants with part of the reason being the criteria for donors. They don’t have to be a perfect match, just blood-type compatible.
And the idea of who makes a perfect donor has changed dramatically.
“Twenty five years ago the best living donor was a 22-year-old perfectly healthy, big strong guy,” said Dr. David Landsberg, renal transplant medical director for BC Transplant. “Today, for me, the best living donor is a perfectly healthy, 62-year-old big strong guy.”
Or a 59-year-old strong woman in this case.
While donating any organ is no small sacrifice, for Greta and Terry, it’s a price they’re willing to pay for the chance at another 30 years together.
“It’s her love for me and how strong that’s been,” said Terry. “And that’s just the way we are and that’s the way it’s going to be.”
Terry and Greta are both recovering well at St. Paul’s Hospital.
To sign up to become an organ donor, visit BC Transplant.
PHOTOS courtesy of reporter Elaine Yong (warning, contains photos from inside the operating room):
© Shaw Media, 2014