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

UPDATE: Fast-burning construction materials fuelled Willow Point blaze – fire chief

Curious onlookers created challenges for emergency crews; fundraising effort underway for family

UPDATED: Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

About 64 wildfires burning north of Campbell River on Tuesday

Strathcona Regional District wants water meters for northern Area D

Meters just part of plan, along with education and enforcement, to reduce use

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending

Government’s goal is to lift 2.1 million people out of poverty by 2030

PHOTOS: Prickly porcupine rescued after hitchhiking down Coquihalla Highway

BC Conservation Officer Service members were able to grab the porcupine and move it to safety

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Appeals court dismissed Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

Convicted murderer still missing after escaping B.C. prison 2 weeks ago

Mission RCMP are continuing to search for escaped inmate John Norman MacKenzie

Smoky skies trap B.C. man inside for days

Air quality warning issued for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley

Surf’s up in California, where it’s now the official sport

Grab a board, catch a wave and find yourself, ‘sittin’ on top of the world’

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu is charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death, other charges

Most Read