The Canadian community: Altruism amid tragedy

As a father whose son once played hockey, and as a lifelong follower of the game, the tragic accident involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team filled me, along with most Canadians, with a deep sense of sadness. As a gastroenterologist and liver-transplant physician at VGH, the actions of Logan Boulet’s family (Logan was one of the players taken from this world much too young because of this tragedy) left me with a great sense of appreciation and awe. In their worst possible moment, when their lives were irreversibly and tragically altered, Logan’s family chose to put the significant medical needs of others—anonymous to them—ahead of their own needs. Their decision to donate Logan’s healthy young organs has rescued kidney disease patients from the suffering of dialysis, and saved patients with end-stage liver, heart, and lung disease from an otherwise inevitable premature death. Their noble altruism has also resulted in an increased interest among BC residents in organ donation, and that will help save lives in this province. In the darkest, most incomprehensible moments, the light of kindness and humanity refuses to be extinguished. I would like to believe that the actions of Logan’s family, as well as the incredible support for the Humboldt Broncos that Canadians coast to coast have shown, somehow defines us as a nation. Humboldt Strong. Canada Strong.
—Eric M. Yoshida, OBC, MD, FRCPC

Eric M. Yoshida, OBC, MD, MHSc, FRCPC. The Canadian community: Altruism amid tragedy. BCMJ, Vol. 60, No. 5, June, 2018, Page(s) 240 - Letters.

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