I had the privilege of being invited to attend today’s media event to welcome home double-lung transplant recipient Hélène Campbell. The event was hosted by Jeff Mauler of Ottawa’s Hot 89.9 at the Government of Canada Conference Centre.
Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq presented Hélène with a traditional Inuit ulu which represents strength. Ms. Aglukkaq also announced $10 million Conservative Government commitment to support national transplant research program, an announcement echoed by Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre. During his remarks, Hélène’s father Alan thanked all of Canada; and Hélène’s mom Manon raved about the amazing care they experienced.
For her part, Hélène is focused on her continued recovery program. She is writing a book and plans to return to her studies. Perhaps the most entertaining part of her comments was how thrilled she is that she can actually “run to the bathroom” on her own steam.
“We anxiously awaited news that you had taken your first unassisted breath with your new lungs.
When you exhaled, we exhaled, too.”
–Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq to Hélène Campbell
After months of providing support and input for Hélène’s online efforts, it was a thrill to be finally introduced. It was the highlight of my day.
The following is video I recorded of today’s event.