Heart transplant recipient Mike Bro, left, hands over a tin of popcorn to Janeen Kidd, site director at Cowichan District Hospital, during Operation Popcorn on Dec. 4, while wife Jan (centre) and daughter Alecsa look on. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Patient pops in to Cowichan Hospital to give gift from the heart

Operation Popcorn delivering to 29 hospitals this year

Mike Bro figures the least he can do for the health workers at Cowichan District Hospital is to deliver them popcorn.

Bro, who lives in the Cowichan Valley, had a heart transplant in Vancouver in 2010 and has been delivering popcorn to emergency staff at CDH’s operating room, emergency room and intensive care unit as part of BC Transplant’s Operation Popcorn for the past five years in thanks and appreciation for the work they do.

Although his transplant surgery didn’t occur at CDH, Bro has relied on the CDH for much of his hospital care.

Operation Popcorn 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.

This year, almost 100 volunteers like Bro are delivering more than 100 tins of popcorn to 28 hospitals in B.C., and one in the Yukon.

Bro, who was surrounded by his family at Monday’s presentation at the hospital, said he was born with a congenital heart defect and had two reconstructive surgeries when he was younger to try and deal with the problem.

He said that when he was 37, he was in his third reconstructive surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver when “things went awry.”

“I was in a coma for a month and then I had to learn to walk and talk all over again,” Bro said.

“I was put on a transplant list on Oct. 12, 2010, and I got a call that a heart was available during the first week of November. I’ve been doing really well since then. I am working full time and I love my job, my wife and my family. I do this every year to thank this hospital’s front-line workers and to wish them a Merry Christmas.”

Bro’s wife Jan added that the front-line hospital workers at CDH spend most of their time dealing with emergencies and traumas and rarely see how much of a positive impact they have on families like hers.

“We always bring our children [Alecsa, Jordyn, and Isaiah] to the CDH during the annual Operation Popcorn to thank the staff as well,” she said.

“They would not have a father without the transplant, and it’s nice to see our hospital so committed to helping those in need of transplants.”

Janeen Kidd, CDH’s site director, also said that the hospital’s emergency staff works hard to save lives under pressure, and don’t always get the thanks they deserve.

“Things like Operation Popcorn mean a lot to our staff,” 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

Sudden death leaves Lake Cowichan’s Shanahan family of five children without a father

GoFundMe campaign set up by wife Tiffany’s friend to help during crisis

From theatres to patios, Vancouver Island Symphony plays through the pandemic

A series of pop-up concerts are taking place in various locations from Saltair to Comox

Webinars provide emotional support, training for caregivers

Following the webinars, recordings of the sessions will be available to watch

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Most Read