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Squamish woman part of record-breaking lung transplant year

Local Beth Miller was among the 55 people who received a lung transplant in B.C.
A Squamish woman's procedure was part of a record-breaking year for lung and heart transplants.

The Provincial Health Services Authority announced more of those types of transplants took place in B.C. than ever before, despite the pandemic.

A record 55 people received a lung transplant in 2020, and 33 people — including three children — received a new heart.

Squamish's Beth Miller was among those who received one of the record-breaking lung transplants of 2020.

In a news release, she said she is grateful for her donor and family and the high-quality care she received throughout her transplant journey.

"After years of struggling for breath, one generous donor and their family made a selfless decision on their absolute worst day, and now I have the gift of healthy lungs," said Miller. "I am eternally grateful to them and to the incredibly caring transplant team."

 Health Minister Adrian Dix lauded the transplant program.

"The success of organ transplant is a transformative feat of expertise, coordination, and caring through the province, in every health authority," said Dix. "A total of 451 people in B.C. received a life-saving transplant in 2020. Today, there are 5,491 British Columbians alive thanks to the incredible generosity of organ donors."

The B.C. liver transplant program also matched their 2017 record with 80 livers transplanted in one year (78 single-liver transplants, plus two combined with a kidney transplant). The kidney transplant program also had a very productive year with 280 transplants.

In 2020, 110 people donated organs after death, with their families making a selfless decision in a moment of grief to gift life to others. Eighty-one living donors donated a kidney in 2020.

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