LaSalle heart transplant recipient stresses importance of organ donation
Hospital officials are trying to increase organ donor registrations in Windsor-Essex after recent statistics ranked the region 160 out of 170 communities in Ontario.
The study found less than 50 per cent of people from across Windsor-Essex are signed up.
In response, Windsor Regional Hospital officials have launched a new campaign to support organ and tissue donation awareness throughout our region.
Heart transplant recipient Shelly Deslippe fully supports the initiative.
A six-inch scar is a daily reminder for Deslippe that she was given a second chance at life.
After several medical complications growing up, doctors told her at the age of 30 "if you don't get a new heart you are not going to live."
"I was terrified," says Deslippe.
Her name was placed on the organ donor waiting list and only nine days later, she got the call that they had a heart for her.
“I literally sank down the wall," says Deslippe. “I got the call at around 7:30 p.m. at night, by midnight I was in the OR. That's how fast it happened."
Deslippe says she is a really good example of someone who is alive today because someone was willing to give that gift of life.
Windsor Regional Hospital's Steve Erwin wants Deslippe's story to inspire others to register as an organ donor online at beadonor.ca, a process that only takes two minutes to complete.
“Some people look at their own health and say ‘oh I could never be an organ donor.’ Let clinicians make that decision,” says Erwin. “The oldest donor locally was 90 years old."
Erwin says Windsor needs to step up.
“Windsor for some reason has lagged and we are not really sure why," says Erwin.
Deslippe is hoping that statistic will change.
“This is crazy,” she says. “We know this saves lives. People please get out there, that's all I'm asking."