Organs donated from a family involved in a deadly Saskatoon car crash will help more than 50 people.
Phenomenome Discoveries, the place where Jordan Van de Vorst worked as a researcher, confirmed the news in a release Thursday.
“On behalf of the families, we have learned that through organ donation, more than 50 people will receive transplants,” the release on the company’s website said.
Jordan , Chanda, Kamryn and Miguire Van de Vorst died when a SUV collided with their car on Highway 11 last weekend.
On Thursday, Lou Van de Vorst tearfully read a statement out front of Saskatoon Provincial Court, mourning the loss of his grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law. Catherine McKay, 49, has been charged with impaired driving in relation to their deaths.
Van de Vorst took time to thank first responders and hospital staff who fought to keep his loved ones alive.
He also thanked members of the organ transplant team at Royal University Hospital who came after it became clear that they couldn’t be saved.
Erin Schimpf is the provincial manager of Saskatchewan`s organ transplant program.
She acknowledged that her team does an extremely difficult job.
“The hardest part I would say, for our team, would be the time spent with families to see the difficult questions and the difficult decisions they have to make. And helping them on the worst day of their life,” she said.
Schimpf said there is a strong emphasis on providing support for team members to help them cope, with debriefing and counselling available. She said often, co-workers lean on each other.
“We rely on each other a lot to help each other through times like this,” she said.
Shimpf urged everyone to talk with their loved ones while they’re able to, in order to spare them the burden of having to make decisions on their own if tragedy strikes.
“The number one thing any of us can do is we can talk to our friends and our family. Make sure that we sit down and have that conversation at some point and tell those people that we want to be an organ and tisse donor,” she said.
Shimpf said organ donations from one person can save as many as eight lives. She added that other tissues collected from a single donor can make a huge impact on the quality of life for as many as 75 others.