Heart transplant recipient Gord Stromsmoe

Gord’s borrowed heart is a big one

This week the 58-year-old heart transplant recipient took part in “Operation Popcorn”

Gord Stromsmoe has a second hand heart, but it is a big one.

This week the 58-year-old heart transplant recipient took part in “Operation Popcorn,” his modest way of saying thank you to the health care professionals in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Campbell River Hospital.

“I got involved to give a little bit back to the BC Transplant Society. It’s my way of saying thanks the people in the local hospital who are involved in the transplant program,” Stromsmoe says.

The former Tahsis sawmill worker moved to Campbell River in the mid-1990s to be close to medical care when he was diagnosed with heart valve disease.

He had his transplant in 1997 and says “I’ve had 15 good years.”

Operation Popcorn is a program run by BC Transplant to acknowledge the difficult, but crucial role British Columbia’s hospital staff play with potential organ donors and their families.

It started 18 years ago because then BC Transplant Director of Retrieval Loretta Kane was determined to find a way to recognize the hospital staff for their contribution to the organ donation process in a way that was fun and inclusive.

Close to Christmas, Loretta and her small team would hire a truck and personally deliver big, colourfully decorated tins of popcorn to the staff in ICUs where staff deal directly with potential donors and their families.

They also delivered to the immunology lab responsible for matching donors with potential recipients, and the provincial lab in charge of all the blood work.

In 1997 Operation Popcorn evolved and transplant recipients like Stromsmoe were recruited to deliver the tins of popcorn.

Over the past 18 years the program has continuously expanded and this year more than 70 tins of popcorn are being delivered to hospitals throughout B.C.

Just Posted

Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

Organization asks City of Campbell River for more land to build homes for young families

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Leigh wants Strathcona Regional District budget amended over water rates

Area D Director cites punitive water rates as a reason to slow down process

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read