Toronto building manager steps up for northern patients

Northern Life

When patients needing organ transplants relocate to Toronto, while they wait for surgery, they are often on their own to find and pay for accommodations. Supplied photo.

Organ transplant patient raises awareness around short-term apartment costs.

Being on a waiting list for organ transplant is not only stressful, it can be expensive.

Tina Proulx — a Sudbury woman who received a double-lung transplant in December — knows this first-hand. Her extended stay in Toronto, after being added to a lung transplant wait-list in October 2014, proved a rude awakening concerning the need for out-of-town patients to access affordable accommodations down south.

Proulx and her husband, Joel, both Sudbury natives, left behind their lives in Ottawa so they could be near Toronto's General Hospital, in case a pair of lungs became available for transplant.

Once lungs are removed from a donor's body, there is only a two-hour window to transplant them. After that, the organs aren't viable.

High-tech XVIVO systems, invented by Toronto doctors, can extend that time frame by a bit, but a quick turnaround remains essential.

Without jobs in Toronto, Proulx said she and her husband eventually had to bend the truth to find an apartment. Continue reading