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Hawke’s Bay man gets on transplant list

Craig House is all smiles in his hospital room at Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony after being placed on the transplant list for a new liver.
Craig House is all smiles in his hospital room at Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony after being placed on the transplant list for a new liver.

Craig and Lisa House breathed a sigh of relief in late March when they found out Craig had been put on the liver transplant list.

After 4 1/2 years fighting liver disease, and waiting for that call for a chance at a longer, healthier life, Craig will now have to wait a little longer for a viable and well-matched liver.
The 51-year-old has cirrhosis of the liver, and has been in and out of hospitals for his entire fight. Unlike many cases of cirrhosis, Craig’s is genetic and he does not drink alcohol. He lost his father and a sister to the same disease.
Because of the genetics, he needs a full liver and a live donor is not possible.
The Port Saunders native and former Hawke’s Bay resident has been at the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony for weeks in an isolation room.
After falling into a coma last month in St. Barbe, Craig was sent to the Strait of Belle Isle Health Centre in Flower’s Cove, before getting transferred to the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony.
The family was preparing for the worst, when after four days Craig opened his eyes.
Once he was stable, he was transferred to Halifax for testing and treatment before going back to St. Anthony.

Finally, after the long wait, he was placed on the transplant list.

“This hospital got us from A to B in no time,” Lisa says.

The family now lives in the Corner Brook area. It was recommended to them years ago that they moved closer to a large health centre in case Craig had a serious health issue. At that time, he was not being considered for a transplant.
But as time went on, and his health continued to deteriorate, it was only a matter of time before he would need the transplant.
Although he is now listed as a priority recipient, Craig is in high spirits. He sits up in his hospital bed with a smile on his face.
“It’ll come when it’s ready,” he says. “The hardest part is sitting around waiting on someone else to die.”
The Department of Health and Community Services confirmed there are between 40 and 70 residents of the province awaiting organ transplants. All transplants are completed outside the province, primarily in Nova Scotia. Craig will travel back to Halifax when he gets the call for a liver.

Promote organ donation

The priority for Craig and Lisa is to promote organ donation.
They would like to see it offered at all major hospitals in the province and more people registered to donate after death.
All harvesting in this province is done in St. John’s due to specialized equipment needed for the procedures.
The Canadian Transplant Society website says 90 per cent of Canadians support organ and tissue donation, but less than 25 per cent have plans to donate.
In Newfoundland, there are 167,443 registered organ donors with driver’s licenses, with just over 24,000 not active drivers (out of province).
From information provided by Service NL, more than 35 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are registered organ donors, substantially higher than the rest of the country.
The organs that can be donated include heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and corneas.
For Craig and Lisa, organ donation is life or death. But spreading the word is not just for their benefit.
“We don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we’ve gone through,” Lisa says.
Craig relies on his faith and positivity that if it’s meant to be, he’ll get his liver. But if not, he doesn’t want anyone else to have to lose out in the future because of lack of available organs.

WEBLINK
www.easternhealth.ca/Give.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc


Craig's Ride for a Cure
On July 23, the House family and a group of volunteers from the Hawke’s Bay area will put on the third annual Craig’s Ride for a Cure event.
It’s a fundraiser that raises awareness for liver disease and organ donation, with hundreds of participants each year.
The event will start with a breakfast. Participants then get on their all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and head out for a day of driving off the beaten path.
It will conclude with a dinner and dance with local entertainment.
The first two years Craig hasn’t been well enough to take part.
This year, he admits, there are several potential outcomes. The family is prepared for all of them.
If Craig receives his transplant in the near future, he may be well enough to take part in the event. If he receives it in several months, he’ll likely still be in recovery from surgery.
The family and Craig have considered that he may not survive until the event. Although it’s not what they want, Lisa says they will push on and continue to raise awareness for liver disease in Craig’s name.
“We want to put money towards organ donation and also helping local hospitals to get basics for patient care,” Lisa says.
The couple’s son Aaron has been named the president of the committee, since Craig and Lisa have been overwhelmed with taking care of Craig’s health.
Although the event is a fundraiser, the couple doesn’t use the money for themselves. They spend their own money on hats and shirts for the Ride for Craig.
They also pay out of pocket for any costs being incurred for Craig’s treatments and medical visits, including what’s not covered by insurance for medication.

After 4 1/2 years fighting liver disease, and waiting for that call for a chance at a longer, healthier life, Craig will now have to wait a little longer for a viable and well-matched liver.
The 51-year-old has cirrhosis of the liver, and has been in and out of hospitals for his entire fight. Unlike many cases of cirrhosis, Craig’s is genetic and he does not drink alcohol. He lost his father and a sister to the same disease.
Because of the genetics, he needs a full liver and a live donor is not possible.
The Port Saunders native and former Hawke’s Bay resident has been at the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony for weeks in an isolation room.
After falling into a coma last month in St. Barbe, Craig was sent to the Strait of Belle Isle Health Centre in Flower’s Cove, before getting transferred to the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony.
The family was preparing for the worst, when after four days Craig opened his eyes.
Once he was stable, he was transferred to Halifax for testing and treatment before going back to St. Anthony.

Finally, after the long wait, he was placed on the transplant list.

“This hospital got us from A to B in no time,” Lisa says.

The family now lives in the Corner Brook area. It was recommended to them years ago that they moved closer to a large health centre in case Craig had a serious health issue. At that time, he was not being considered for a transplant.
But as time went on, and his health continued to deteriorate, it was only a matter of time before he would need the transplant.
Although he is now listed as a priority recipient, Craig is in high spirits. He sits up in his hospital bed with a smile on his face.
“It’ll come when it’s ready,” he says. “The hardest part is sitting around waiting on someone else to die.”
The Department of Health and Community Services confirmed there are between 40 and 70 residents of the province awaiting organ transplants. All transplants are completed outside the province, primarily in Nova Scotia. Craig will travel back to Halifax when he gets the call for a liver.

Promote organ donation

The priority for Craig and Lisa is to promote organ donation.
They would like to see it offered at all major hospitals in the province and more people registered to donate after death.
All harvesting in this province is done in St. John’s due to specialized equipment needed for the procedures.
The Canadian Transplant Society website says 90 per cent of Canadians support organ and tissue donation, but less than 25 per cent have plans to donate.
In Newfoundland, there are 167,443 registered organ donors with driver’s licenses, with just over 24,000 not active drivers (out of province).
From information provided by Service NL, more than 35 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are registered organ donors, substantially higher than the rest of the country.
The organs that can be donated include heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and corneas.
For Craig and Lisa, organ donation is life or death. But spreading the word is not just for their benefit.
“We don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we’ve gone through,” Lisa says.
Craig relies on his faith and positivity that if it’s meant to be, he’ll get his liver. But if not, he doesn’t want anyone else to have to lose out in the future because of lack of available organs.

WEBLINK
www.easternhealth.ca/Give.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc


Craig's Ride for a Cure
On July 23, the House family and a group of volunteers from the Hawke’s Bay area will put on the third annual Craig’s Ride for a Cure event.
It’s a fundraiser that raises awareness for liver disease and organ donation, with hundreds of participants each year.
The event will start with a breakfast. Participants then get on their all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and head out for a day of driving off the beaten path.
It will conclude with a dinner and dance with local entertainment.
The first two years Craig hasn’t been well enough to take part.
This year, he admits, there are several potential outcomes. The family is prepared for all of them.
If Craig receives his transplant in the near future, he may be well enough to take part in the event. If he receives it in several months, he’ll likely still be in recovery from surgery.
The family and Craig have considered that he may not survive until the event. Although it’s not what they want, Lisa says they will push on and continue to raise awareness for liver disease in Craig’s name.
“We want to put money towards organ donation and also helping local hospitals to get basics for patient care,” Lisa says.
The couple’s son Aaron has been named the president of the committee, since Craig and Lisa have been overwhelmed with taking care of Craig’s health.
Although the event is a fundraiser, the couple doesn’t use the money for themselves. They spend their own money on hats and shirts for the Ride for Craig.
They also pay out of pocket for any costs being incurred for Craig’s treatments and medical visits, including what’s not covered by insurance for medication.

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