Out of tragedy, a life-giving gift

Advertisement

Advertise with us

Last Friday, reports that a bus crash had killed 14 people on a remote highway in rural Saskatchewan sent shock waves throughout Canada. Two more passengers would later succumb to their injuries, raising the toll to 16.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Opinion

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/04/2018 (1631 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Last Friday, reports that a bus crash had killed 14 people on a remote highway in rural Saskatchewan sent shock waves throughout Canada. Two more passengers would later succumb to their injuries, raising the toll to 16.

The ripple effect of that tragedy isn’t confined to a national outpouring of grief over the deaths of 10 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, two coaches, two broadcasters, an athletic trainer and the bus driver. It goes beyond the feelings of solidarity gripping a country in which it seems everyone knows a hockey player or a hockey parent.

At a time when support was flowing into Humboldt, there was also support flowing outward.

Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Logan Boulet of the Humboldt Broncos.

The family of Logan Boulet, a Broncos player from Lethbridge, Alta., donated his organs after his death, according to his wishes. Six Canadians now have a chance to live, thanks to the 21-year-old defenceman’s generosity and forethought.

Matches were made for all his vital organs, including his heart, lungs and kidneys. He gave the rest of his body to scientific research.

Close to 90 per cent of Canadians support the idea of being organ donors, but fewer than 20 per cent have registered. Some of that discrepancy can be chalked up to procrastination, some to an aversion to dealing with mortality.

Most young people don’t think about death; fewer still plan for its eventuality. Mr. Boulet, however, signed his organ-donor card as soon as he turned 21, just weeks before the accident, and let his family know.

There are more than 4,600 people in Canada waiting for life-saving transplants. About 230 Canadians die each year waiting for a transplant, while 1,600 are added to the wait list annually.

The circumstances under which a deceased person’s organs can be donated are rare. Sadly, one of those circumstances is a particularly traumatic one: a vehicular accident, where paramedics are on the scene and a victim can be put on life-support in a sufficiently timely fashion to prevent organ death.

Credit is due not only to Mr. Boulet, but to his family for honouring his wishes during a nightmarish time.

National Organ & Tissue Donor Awareness week is April 22-28. News coverage of the Humboldt tragedy has already done much to bring attention to the dearth of registered donors in this country — meaning Mr. Boulet’s gift of life will go far beyond the six people who received his organs, beyond those helped by research.

In the wake of Mr. Boulet’s donation, provincial donor organizations noted a sizable uptick in registrations. Ontario’s Trillium Gift of Life Network received 182 new online registrations on Sunday (by way of comparison, on March 25 there were 67).

The website for Transplant Manitoba,signupforlife.ca, received about 450 new registrations from Friday night to Monday afternoon, more than eight times the number of the previous long weekend.

It’s a cruel irony that tragic death and unbearable sadness for one family can result in longed-for life and incredible joy for another. Long after the all-too-fleeting feelings of unity and good-hearted sentiments sweeping the country have faded, one young man’s good heart will literally live on.

History

Updated on Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:59 AM CDT: Adds photo

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Editorials

LOAD MORE EDITORIALS