Organ Donation Week a time for discussions with loved ones
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 8:50PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 21, 2017 7:15AM EDT
Every time Veronica Turchetto thinks of her father Marc she still struggles with emotion.
"I try to keep thinking that he would want us to be happy and to live a happy life."
Marc died suddenly eight years ago, when Turchetto was 17 years old.
"His smile, his laugh. He would always crack jokes all the time."
But she takes comfort in knowing his organs have given someone else a second chance.
During this National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, Turchetto is trying to get friends and families to discuss what can happen in the event of a death, sudden or otherwise.
"It would be kind of cool if organs could talk and say 'Oh yeah I'm having a great time in my second life,'" said Turchetto.
"It's kind of reassuring knowing that someone can benefit."
Marc had not signed his organ donor card before his death, and when staff approached her at the hospital, it took Turchetto some time before she approved the request.
Turchetto made her decision with the help of Wendy Sherry, the clinician for organ and tissue donation at the MUHC.
Her job is to approach families at a difficult time and explain what will happen.
"A lot of families are in crisis. You have to deal with that and make sure that they understand their family member is dead before you ask about organ donation," said Sherry.
She said the job requires patience and a willingness to listen.
"One thing at a time, and go at their pace," said Sherry.
This is the 20th anniversary of the national week dedicated to raising awareness of organ donation.
So far this year hundreds of people have donated organs which have improved the lives of thousands of people.
"We've had 2,700 donors," said Sherry. "700 of those were living donors and from those donors we had 8000 recipients."
Sherry admits it's a difficult decision to make, but it is a discussion that is extremely important.
Looking back, Turchetto is very glad she decided to donate her father's organs.
"It is definitely a great way to keep him alive in someone else and bring able to help someone else."
For more information on organ donation, visit Transplant Quebec's website.