Operation Popcorn visits Cowichan District Hospital

Transplant patient thanks workers for gift of life

Mike Bro delivered popcorn to health workers at Cowichan District Hospital for the third year in a row on Dec. 12.

Bro, who lives in the Cowichan Valley where he is raising seven children with his wife Jan, had a heart transplant in Vancouver in 2010 and now participates in the annual Operation Popcorn that takes place during the holidays in hospitals across B.C.

Operation Popcorn, a project initiated by the BC Transplant organization, is an annual tradition where transplant recipients, living donors and donor family members thank hundreds of health professionals across B.C. for the gift of life with gifts of popcorn.

RELATED STORY: ORGAN TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS EXPRESS THANKS

Although his transplant surgery didn’t occur at CDH, Bro has relied on CDH for much of his hospital care since he moved to the Valley from Campbell River seven years ago.

Bro was born with a congenital heart defect and had four open-heart surgeries to try to correct the problem over the years.

Things didn’t go as planned in his last open-heart surgery in St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver in 2010, and he was left in a coma for two months.

When Bro finally awoke from the coma, he had to spend another five months in hospital recovering and learning to walk and talk again.

He was finally released and put on a heart-transplant list as a high-priority patient.

“Just a month later, I was called and told that a heart was available,” Bro said. “In a very short time, a helicopter landed right in front of my house in a subdivision in Campbell River and whisked me away to St. Paul’s for my surgery.”

Bro said he walked out of the hospital just 10 days after his 14-hour transplant surgery.

He said the experience changed his life so he went back to school and studied to become a community health-care worker and now works in that capacity in the Cowichan Valley.

RELATED STORY: COBBLE HILL WOMAN’S INSPIRING RECOVERY

“Because of everything I went through, I wanted to do something with my life that meant something, and that’s why I decided to work in health care,” Bro said.

“I go back to St. Paul’s for annual check ups, but I’m grateful that I have had no significant health issues since the transplant surgery.”

Bro said he, and several members of his family, participate in Operation Popcorn because it gives them an additional opportunity to say thank you to health-care workers and get the word out to the public about how important organ donations are.

Janet James, site director at CDH, said she thinks Operation Popcorn is greatly appreciated by the staff at the hospital.

“It inspires us to keep up the great work we do every day here,” she said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lexi Bainas column: Thanks for the memories: Lexi Bainas reflects on retirement

It’s been great but it’s time for the last waltz

Sonia Furstenau column: Proud of moving forward important issues over the last year

During the announcement, I reflected on the role my office played

Drivesmart column: The difficulty with stop signs

One wouldn’t think that stopping at a stop sign would be such a problem for drivers.

Duncan Christian hoops teams back in action with a busy month

Senior boys and girls play league and tournament games

Robert Barron column: Immigrants in the Cowichan Valley are an asset

If they are successful, the family would be a great addition to the Valley

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read