It was just before Christmas last year that Maureen Lluiken was told her 13-year-old son Nicholas may not live to see the new year.
The Surrey teenager had a fatal liver disease, and was given a month to live without a new liver.
“It was very scary,” Maureen said Thursday at the Vancouver launch to a new campaign called Recycle Your Organs. The Lluikens got the call just before 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve that a liver was available. Twelve hours later, he was on an operating table in Edmonton.
Maureen said it’s hard to know that for her child to live, someone else’s had to die. “We’re absolutely appreciative,” she said, breaking down in tears. “It’s a huge gift. It’s a second chance at life.”
According to B.C. Transplant, 80 per cent of British Columbians say they support organ donation but only 17 per cent are registered.
“If someone dies, they can save another 20 people,” Nicholas said.
Britta Watts, who has cystic fibrosis, had a double lung transplant in 2005. “I’m alive, breathing and here today because my donor made a heroic decision to save lives,” she said. “Breaths come easy now, thanks to (that) life-saving gift.”