Edmonton man celebrates unique birthday, for his organs

Global News Ca | Caley Ramsay

EDMONTON – An Edmonton man threw a 20th birthday party on Saturday, but it wasn’t for a person or even a pet. It was for his organs.

“I would’ve never thought 20 years later we would be doing this,” said Betty-Ann Sharp, Cary Bloedel’s mother.

Twenty years ago this week, Bloedel underwent a triple organ transplant – a heart and two lungs. He was 22 years old at the time and suffered from a rare condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is caused by a combination of heart defects. Present at birth, the defects affect the structure of the heart and cause oxygen-poor blood to flow to the rest of the body.

“He could never run and play hard,” said Sharp. “Any kind of great exertion he would have to stop and try to breathe.”

While she admits it was terrifying to see her son live like this, Sharp said Bloedel learned how to cope with the disease. After waiting three and a half years for a transplant, Bloedel was given a new lease on life on Oct. 22, 1995. Continue reading VIDEO.