On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, the Secondary three students of Joliette High School were treated to a presentation about organ and tissue donation and transplantation, given by the school’s lab technician, Ms. Vera Iachetta, a kidney recipient, as well as three guest speakers.

Mr. Gaston Martin and Ms. Iachetta eloquently spoke at length about statistics concerning the need for organs and the wait time for an organ transplant, as well as sharing their own stories; that of heart and kidney transplant respectively.

After a quick lunch break, Mr. Lloyd Mangahas gave an emotion-filled account of his own wait for a kidney and the mental impact of rejecting a kidney, which happened to him with the first transplant he received. He explained to the receptive and interested crowd of teenagers the effects transplantations have on donors, recipients, and their families, including the effects on his family.

Next, Ms. Wendy Sherry, a nurse for 31 years, gave the students an informative look into neurological death and the process of accepting or declining to have your family member’s organs or tissues donated after death. She explained her profession as a nurse clinician for organ donation and interacted with the students.

The students left the classroom with an intuitive look at the inside world of organ and tissue donation, knowledge about the choices they can make, and awareness ribbons, as well as with tangible evidence that there is always a silver lining to life: even in losing someone close to you, with the option of organ donation you can save someone else. Visit Transplant Québec at www.transplantquebec.ca/en for information on organ donation and Héma Quebec at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca/index.en.htm for information on tissue donation.