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

Collision knocks over fire hydrant on Ypres Street

Duncan firefighters quick to get situation under control

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

Pig destined for sanctuary goes missing from Cobble Hill farm

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Editorial: Mask wearing: innocuous advice has turned into polarizing war

Somehow, this innocuous recommendation has become a polarizing war for some.

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read