Surrey RCMP corporal Scotty Schumann. (File photo)

Surrey RCMP voice pledges to help BC Transplant in memory of sister

Cpl. Scotty Schumann’s sibling donated several organs after brain aneurysm killed her in September

SURREY — Scotty Schumann’s new year’s resolution is to do more volunteer work in 2018, in memory of his sister.

Schumann, a Surrey RCMP corporal who serves as the detachment’s spokesperson, lost his younger sister, Andrea, to a brain aneurysm last September. Her death was sudden, her condition undiagnosed. The 48-year-old single mother left behind two sons, aged 18 and 20.

“My sister was able to donate her organs, and several recipients benefited from her gift,” Schumann told the Now-Leader.

“In her spirit I intend to support BC Transplant to raise awareness and register organ donors as a donor family member.”

Andrea Schumann, a Surrey resident and mother of two sons, died of a brain aneurysm in September. She was 48. (Submitted photo)

Andrea, a Surrey resident who worked for WestJet at Vancouver International Airport, collapsed one day in early September.

“She was essentially almost brain-dead immediately,” Schumann recalled. “The next day, she was pronounced deceased, legally, and then (one day later) she went in for surgery to have her organs removed.”

Andrea was among the more than 1.1 million registered organ donors in British Columbia, a province where 643 people wait for the gift of such a donation, according to the latest numbers from BC Transplant, which “provides oversight for all aspects of organ donation and transplantation across B.C.”

“It just so happened that (Andrea) was a registered donor, but BC Transplant meets with (the family) before the process and gets their input, their feedback,” Schumann noted.

“You could be a (registered) organ donor but if your family puts up a big stink about it, they will consider whether or not they’ll take your organs,” he explained. “They definitely consult the family, and similarly, if you weren’t a registered donor, they would consult you – you know, ‘Hey, what do you think, can we do this?’ That sort of thing. They usually look for permission from the closest relatives. So in my case, between myself, my sister’s two boys and my mom and dad, we made a decision (to donate) right away, to support that.”

No question, it’s kind of a surreal process to go through, he said.

“I mean, you’re dealing with the death, the grief, first of all, you’re in a fog, but they have people from BC Transplant come and meet you, and they’re fantastic,” Schumann said. “They go into great detail telling you about the process, but they’re also very good at listening and providing anecdotal stories and helping families make their decision. That’s what they do. It’s very interesting, the process.”

Andrea donated both of her eyes, her lungs, her liver and her kidneys, according to her brother.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” he said. “With her eyes, they told us that four people are going to have their eyesight restored as a result of her donation, which is fantastic. One of the main parts they were using is the whites of her eyes, so I guess if you have cancer in your eyeball, the white part, the only treatment is to take it out, and if you take it out, you lose your sight. But if you can replace it with donor material, then that sight can be restored, which is quite amazing.”

Something else BC Transplant facilitates is meetings with organ donation recipients, “so they’re almost like an adoption agency,” Schumann said.

“If we reach out to BC Transplant and say we want to meet the recipients, and if the recipients do the same, wanting to meet the donors, they make it happen,” he explained.

“The general rule is, you can’t reach out for approximately a year because you have to give the recipients time to heal and make sure the organ is not rejected,” Schumann said.

”For reasons unknown to us, one of the recipients has already reached out to our family. We haven’t had contact with them yet, but the process is in the works, and we’re all very excited about meeting whoever it may be.”

In 2017, more than 448 people received a life-saving transplant in British Columbia, according to BC Transplant.

CLICK HERE to see the latest numbers on the BC Transplant website

As of Feb. 26, 2017, every British Columbian visiting an ICBC driver licensing location will be asked to register their decision about organ donation.

“Fifty per cent of British Columbians believe they have registered a decision on organ donation but, in fact, only 21 per cent have,” according to BC Transplant. “For this reason, last year ICBC ran a pilot in four locations where staff provided information about organ donation to customers and encouraged them to register their decision. Over 15,000 customers registered their decision on organ donation as a result of the pilot.”

A donor needs to register just once in a lifetime, “but a decal on your driver’s licence is no longer enough to ensure you’re registered as an organ donor,” the agency notes. “Register your decision at register.transplant.bc.ca or call 1-800-663-6189.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

The Surrey Hospice Society’s Toolbox thrift store reopens in Cloverdale

Before she fell ill, Janet Child revamped second-hand tool store

Prolific offender nabbed at Surrey SkyTrain after police say he skipped paying fare

Officers arrested Reginald Simon at Scott Road SkyTrain after discovering he had 11 outstanding warrants

Death threat related to unsolved Surrey murder posted at major city intersection

Bradley Kline, 26, of Newton was murdered on Dec. 7, 2018

Surrey’s new top cop is White Rock resident Brian Edwards

A transition plan will see Edwards start in his new job on Jan. 6

Four Surrey girls teams will battle for Tsumura Basketball Invitational title

Now that boys teams have vacated the venue, girls get going today at Langley Events Centre

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by BB gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Chevron move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Most Read