As the unique coronavirus wave started to roll across Canada, transplant centres had to make challenging choices: how best to protect patients who need transplant surgeries and produce space for COVID-19 clients.

Toronto General Hospital is the country’s largest transplant program and one of the top worldwide. Part of the University Health Network, it is a centre for development and care for clients from a number of provinces, so the choice to downsize surgeries was hard for everyone.

” When we do a transplant, we put patients on anti-rejection pills and that indicates truly tearing down their body immune system,” Dr. Atul Humar, medical director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program, told Global News. “We’re extremely anxious if we do that to patients, and then if they get COVID, they’ll wind up with very, really extreme manifestations of COVID-19

It likewise indicates that transplants patients could wind up, post-operatively, in the exact same ICU as COVID-19 clients and there would be an increased requirement for ventilators.

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On March 13, the hospital chose to minimize transplant surgeries– heart, liver, kidney, pancreas and lung– unless a patient was rapidly weakening.

In Niagara Falls, Jim Mann got a call telling him his double-lung transplant was on hold, for now.

Mann, who is living with severe emphysema, requires a transplant, however he’s also stressed about COVID-19

Jim Mann is waiting for a double-lung transplant that has been delayed because of COVID-19.

Jim Mann is awaiting a double-lung transplant that has been postponed since of COVID-19

Lori Mann

Mann and his partner Lori are doing whatever they can to keep him safe inside as he waits.

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” It type of breaks your heart due to the fact that we had that hope,” said Lori Mann.

” No one understands how long this is going to go on for.

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John moved to an apartment building next to where Penny lives.

He is living with idiopathic lung fibrosis, needs a double-lung transplant, and a see would not be safe.

” It’s putting your life on hold and simply praying every night that it’ll be over soon or that your health will hold up until the COVID-19 issue is over,” Dennis stated.
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Dennis is still going through the procedure of trying to get on the main transplant waiting list in Toronto.

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Dennis is an adventurer who when completed in an around-the-world cruising race, so he’s ready for a battle.

” I want my family to know I’m not providing up the battle.

John Dennis is greeted by his wife Penny and daughter Stephanie after competing in an international sailing race in 2002.

John Dennis is greeted by his partner Cent and child Stephanie after completing in a global sailing race in 2002.

John Dennis

” So there are patients right now who are very unhealthy and getting sicker rapidly,” Dr. Meredith Chiasson, a respirologist with the Halifax Infirmary, informed Global News.

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” So essentially those organs are not used. They’re lost to the system, which is actually another disaster due to COVID-19,” Dr. Humar informed Global News. “It’s very heartbreaking, in fact.”

Jim is still optimistic. His partner Lori says their bags are jam-packed and they are all set for the call. Lori’s sibling likewise established a GoFund me project to assist with the associated expenses of travelling and living in Toronto during Jim’s surgical treatment and care.

” I understand there’s a fix down the roadway. … Hopefully it comes prior to I can’t go on anymore like this,” Mann informed Global News.

While Mann and Dennis have been waiting, the group at Toronto General and its partners have actually been establishing security procedures and testing donor organs for COVID-19

Close to 20 transplant surgeries have actually been performed considering that March 13 at the health center.

All the acquired understanding and security procedures are resulting in some renewed optimism.

Dr. Humar hopes that Toronto General will be able to slowly begin performing extra transplant surgeries– soon.

” For the sake of our patients and so that precious donor organs do not go to unused,” Dr. Humar informed Global News.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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