Lung transplant recipient Larry Worfolk, right, with his 11-year-old grandson, Joshua. (submitted photo)

Lung transplant recipient Larry Worfolk, right, with his 11-year-old grandson, Joshua. (submitted photo)

ORGAN DONATION

‘Take two minutes’: Surrey lung recipient encourages organ donation, as he’s done

Green Shirt Day is April 7, in honour of Humboldt hockey player

Larry Worfolk is eager to talk about the lung transplant that saved his life, and about how easy it is for people to register as organ donors.

Born with cystic fibrosis (CF), the Surrey resident needed a double lung transplant more than a decade ago, at age 50, and he had to wait 22 months before a donor was found.

“In the last six months, it was pretty tough and things were going downhill pretty fast,” Worfolk recalled. “It was definitely a gift of life.”

For him, the life-saving surgery made for “a whole new world” that involved dragon boat racing, jogging, travel and enjoying time with Joshua, a grandson he never would have met.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do any of that without the transplant,” he said. “I’m doing great.”

April is organ donation awareness month, and Wednesday, April 7 is Green Shirt Day, honoring the legacy of Logan Boulet, one of the young hockey players killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018. Logan was a registered donor and donated his organs so that six lives could live on. “His selfless act inspired tens of thousands of Canadians to register as organ donors in the days following his donation,” according to BC Transplant, which oversees all aspects of organ donation and transplantation in B.C.

Also organized is a “Take Two Minutes” campaign that encourages organ donation, on the website taketwominutes.ca.

“And it’s not an exaggeration either, because if you have your health card number with you, it’s less than two minutes to sign up,” Worfolk said. “It’s a pretty fast process, and what better legacy can you leave than to save someone’s life?”

Worfolk is registered as an organ donor.

“But there are limits to what they’d take,” he noted, “because of the immunosuppressant drugs that I’m on, to keep my body from rejecting the lungs. But yes, I am signed up as a donor.”

When doctors first discussed his lung transplant, concerns were raised about Worfolk’s age, and that he would be the oldest patient with CF to undergo a transplant in the province.

“With CF there can be a lot of complications with surgery, but everything turned out fine,” he noted.

Registering as an organ donor offers hope to the almost 700 people waiting for an organ transplant in British Columbia, according to BC Transplant.

More of Worfolk’s story is told on the Transplant Research Foundation of B.C.’s website, trfbc.org.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health staff prepare for the reopening of Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta on April 15, 2021. (Fraser Health photo)
Delta hospice at centre of MAiD fight to reopen Thursday

Fraser Health will reopen all 10 beds at the facility on April 15

Surrey-raised Tetsuro Shigematsu wrote and stars in “1 Hour Photo,” a Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s production to be presented online by Surrey Civic Theatres on April 23-24. (submitted photo/Raymond Shum)
‘This Japanese kid who grew up in Whalley’ thrilled to return with acclaimed ‘1 Hour Photo’

City’s Digital Stage to show Tetsuro Shigematsu’s solo portrait of Mas Yamamoto

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Fish processing workers fillet farm-raised salmon in Surrey B.C. Photo courtesy BCSFA
Discovery Islands salmon farm removal impacts jobs in B.C.’s Lower Mainland: report

The City of Surrey is the hub of the salmon farming industry in Metro Vancouver

Surrey School District building. (File photo)
‘We’re in a financial lockdown’: Surrey school district working with $40M budget deficit

District, board points to lack of immigration for new student enrolment

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Most Read