It can be used to decorate the Christmas tree or as a movie-time snack, but for organ recipients and staff at Royal Inland Hospital, popcorn gained a new meaning Friday.
“It’s like a thank-you to the staff for helping out,” said Kamloops resident Mike Grandbois, an organ recipient.
He and fellow organ recipient Dan Cheung presented large tins of popcorn to three hospital departments as part of B.C. Transplant’s Operation Popcorn.
“Operation Popcorn was designed to have organ recipients deliver popcorn and say thank you to the staff who are so critical in organ donation,” said Peggy John, communications and community relation’s manager for B.C. Transplant. She says it’s for those who work in the ICU, operating rooms and emergency rooms who don’t normally get to see the positive side of organ donation.
“It gives them encouragement,” said Grandbois, who received a lung transplant over 15 years ago, 22 months after he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a scarring or thickening of the lungs.
At the time of the operation, the survival rate for a lung transplant was 50 per cent.
“They can see they’re not working in vain,” he said.
For Cheung it’s a way to show his appreciation. He received a kidney transplant, donated by his wife, after he was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2010.
“It’s just to appreciate the people who looked after me in the past,” he said.
This year, 25 B.C. hospitals are receiving more than 80 buckets of popcorn.