April 5, 2024

At Transit Police, a ‘Ray’ of light shines attention on the need for organ donors

For Transit Police Constable Ray Athwal, Green Shirt Day and raising awareness for organ donation is a deeply personal cause. His family was forever indebted when his wife was gifted a heart by a family that lost a loved one, and Ray believes in trying to pay their generosity forward.

Almost eight years ago, on Mother’s Day, Ray’s wife suffered a major heart attack that led to serious complications. Her life was saved thanks to their boys – who were only 13 and 11 at the time – quickly calling for help, multiple surgeries, and a heart received from a selfless person who had signed up to be an organ donor.

“My family was blessed by an organ donor,” says Ray, adding, “I hope my story can help others to consider registering as organ donors, or at least raise awareness about the people in need of organ donation.”

Prior to joining Transit Police, Ray was a Sergeant with the Delta Police Department (DPD). In an episode of the DPD’s podcast, Bend Don’t Break, he talks with his then Chief about his journey through that difficult time and how his family faced these challenges. His story inspired his colleagues then, and it does now, at Transit Police.

Ray will be proudly participating in Green Shirt Day on Sunday, April 7, by wearing green under his uniform. He hopes that you will consider signing up to be an organ donor and sharing your wishes with your family.

Green Shirt Day was created to honour all the victims and families of the horrific 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash in which 16 of 29 bus passengers lost their lives, most of them junior hockey players. One of the deceased was a young defenceman, Logan Boulet who succumbed to his injuries on April 7. His parents donated his organs and, by doing so, saved six lives, and inspired thousands of people to register as organ donors themselves. This became known as the Logan Boulet Effect. Every year, on April 7, Green Shirt Day continues Logan’s legacy by inspiring Canadians to talk to their families and register as organ donors.

Learn more about organ donation at transplant.bc.ca

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