Member’s Story Raises Awareness of the Need for Organ Donors
January 9, 2014
Asif Ali joined MoveUP in 2003 when he was hired to work at Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the Vancouver Airport. He was an outgoing, athletic young man with dreams of building a career and a life with a family of his own. But a congenital heart condition had caused him pain for years, and late in 2005 his health deteriorated to the point that he desperately needed a heart transplant.
18 months later, in June 2007, Asif was at the point where he couldn’t breathe lying down. Finally, a heart was found and he went into surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. The transplant gave Asif a new lease on life. In 2008 he told the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation magazine that he felt “like Superman”. He got back into shape at the gym and started taking college courses.
But tragically, Asif passed away in December of last year, only 32 years old. After more than five years, his initial heart transplant began to fail in early 2013. Thankfully he received a second transplant, but unfortunately passed away from complications arising from the surgery.
Asif Ali leaves behind a loving family, including his three-year-old son. His family is grateful for the extra years the transplants gave them together, but wishes Asif hadn’t had to wait so long. Unfortunately, the unmet need for organ donations in B.C. is significant.
According to Transplant BC, “There is a chronic shortage of hearts, lungs, kidneys and livers for transplant in BC as the need far outweighs the number of organs available for transplant. There are more than 300 British Columbians currently awaiting organ transplants and hundreds more awaiting corneal transplants.”
Asif’s story reminds us how important it is to sign up to be an organ donor. Many MoveUP members and their families have seen the benefits of organ donation. When an organ donor dies, they can save up to eight people’s lives and improve many others. Many family members say knowing their loved one saved others helped them cope with their loss.
Having a decal on your driver’s license is no longer enough; you must go through a simple registration process with BC Transplant. Please take a moment to register online or verify your existing registration at transplant.bc.ca, or call 1-800-663-6189.