My initial thought about spending my post-transplant recovery in Vancouver was: “how can we afford this?”
What type of lung disease did you live with before your transplant and when you were diagnosed?
I was diagnosed with COPD and Emphysema in 2012.
When were you placed on the transplant list?
August 14th, 2013 was when I was placed on the transplant list and then had my single-lung transplant on February 24th, 2015.
Were you aware that when the time came for your transplant you would need to spend at least three months in Vancouver for post-transplant recovery? Were you also aware that you would have to incur all the costs on your own such as, accommodation, food, gas, parking, etc.?
Yes, we were aware of this. Our initial thoughts were: “how can we afford this?”
Once you are on the transplant list you can get the call anytime. What did you do to arrange your accommodation, etc., while waiting?
There wasn’t much we could do prior to the call. However, just before I was released from the hospital, we were fortunate enough to secure a place through my partner’s brother. Before that we did call some places that were available by the month, but the cost was way out of our budget. Places were between $2,600.00 and $3,000.00 per month.
What hardships did you face through being displaced from your own home for that period of time?
We had friends take care of our home and animals in 150 Mile House, so there was no worry there at all. Our friends cleaned up my shop and finished the work that needed to be done to the entrance to our home. Other friends came over to clean and dust inside our house. It was very kind of them.
Approximately how much it cost for the time you spent while in Vancouver after your transplant? How long was that?
We were in Vancouver for three months and spent close to $10,000.00. It also cost us $5,000.00 in travel for testing before my transplant.
Do you have any suggestions on what could be done to help others from out of town that may go through what you have?
Have a complete understanding of what you will be going through. Make a good effort to save some money. Know that you are in good hands with Dr. Yee and the medical staff at VGH.