Delivering Popcorn to Say Thanks
Alice Graham and Randy Sokolowski (centre) deliver festive popcorn to Emergency Room RNs Rick Drader (left) and Lyn Ingham (right)
Prince George, B.C.- “When I woke up from the surgery, it was as if all the lights came on.” That’s how Randy Sokolowski describes his first reaction after undergoing a kidney transplant a year and a half ago.
He says that because his kidney disease had progressed over a long period of time, he didn’t realize just how sick he had been until his post op awakening. “It’s like when you get a new pair of glasses, suddenly everything is brighter and clearer.”
Today, Randy, his wife Elaine, along with Alice Graham, whose late husband was a liver donor, stopped by the University Hospital of Northern B.C. to deliver buckets of popcorn to those in the health profession who have played a role in the transplant process.
Transplants aren’t done at UHNBC, but the hospital does have a post transplant clinic to support those patients who have undergone a transplant. “The people here have to deal with the very sad part” says Sokolowski “They have to deal with the families of donors and do the harvesting, it’s a delicate and difficult job” In his own case, he was lucky to have a match in his sister who donated one of her kidney’s to make her brother well. The transplant was conducted in Vancouver, and both were out of the hospital within five days.
Sokolowski still takes anti-rejection drugs, and visits the transplant clinic at UHNBC to ensure everything is still on track.
Alice Graham and her husband had signed up to be organ donors years ago, but when her husband passed away just shy of the age of 80, she was surprised to hear there was a desire to harvest his liver “When young Dr. Hillhouse asked me , I said, ‘he’s too old’ and Dr. Hillhouse said, ‘I don’t think so’ “. She says she understands her late husband was the oldest donor in B.C. and believes signing up to be an organ donor is a very positive and important thing to do.
Elaine Sokolowski agrees, saying Randy’s kidney transplant has made a big difference to them both “It was a miracle, and I have my husband back.”