Annie Gendron, liver transplant recipient

“My name is Annie, I come from Abitibi and I am 46 years old. Here is my story: I have had health problems since I was 5 years old, but more recently, it has intensified. I was rushed to the hospital by plane for an internal hemorrhage, that’s when the doctors decided that I had to have a liver transplant quickly. I had to stay at the CHUM for ten weeks waiting for my new liver. Gastric complications delayed the surgery. The transplant was a real success.

When I left the hospital, I went to the Maison des greffés Lina Cyr. My stay, which was supposed to last two weeks, turned into five months. The House became an oasis of rest for me during this difficult period. I created a new family with the staff and the residents. The kindness, the good mood, the listening, the empathy of everyone kept my spirits up.

I will keep memories of my stay here and I have made friendships that will stay with me forever. A huge thank you! ”

Annie Gendron, liver transplant recipient

Jean-Carmel Noel, liver transplant recipient

“My name is Jean-Carmel Noel and this is my story:

I was born with a hereditary disease that affects mainly black people and is characterized by a malformation of the red blood cells and affects the whole body. I suffered from ulcerative colitis, which led to other problems like encephalopathy. In short, I needed a liver transplant.

In February 2020, I was hospitalized for the first time at the CHUM to receive my transplant. Unfortunately, the liver was too big for my body. At that time, I could no longer eat solid food and was fed through a feeding tube. The only thing I could swallow by mouth was water. I had lost a lot of weight; I was down to 95 pounds.

Jean-Carmel Noel, liver transplant recipient

In September 2020, I was flown from Quebec City to Montreal to receive my transplant. At that point, I had been in a coma for 21 days. I finally had my transplant on September 25, 2020 not without complications. I had a lot of hemorrhage, I had to have more than 90 blood transfusions.

After 7 weeks of hospitalization, I finally arrived at the Maison des greffés. This place played a very important role in my convalescence. Just because of the proximity of the CHUM, which allows me to go to my many follow-up appointments quickly and without having to make the trip from Montreal to Quebec City each time.

The Maison des greffés is almost like a resort for transplant patients, it offers impeccable and essential front-line service. You don’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning. The only thing we have to worry about is ourselves. We feel good, we don’t lack anything. A caring and smiling staff from the service staff to the management. You are quite a team!  I have also made friends with other residents who are in the same situation as me.

Thank you so much to the Maison des greffés! ”

Éli, liver transplant recipient

“Here is a summary of the journey of our little fighter, Éli Robichaud, now 8 years and 10 months old.

Éli was born with OTC deficiency, a metabolic disease of the urea cycle. This disease caused several attacks of hyperammonemia (high ammonia levels in the blood) from his first days of life.

Despite a very rocky start to life and a very poor prognosis for survival, Eli responded so well to treatment that he was put on the priority waiting list for a liver transplant, an operation that would save his life. After three months of hospitalization (first at the CHUL in Quebec City and then at Ste-Justine), Eli’s condition was deemed stable enough to be discharged for the first time. However, his condition was too precarious and our place of residence too far away to consider returning home (Chapais is 712 km from Montreal).

Éli, liver transplant recipient

So, with the help of the social worker, we started looking for a safe and healthy place to stay while waiting for Eli’s transplant. That’s how we discovered the House. From the first time we visited, we knew this was the place for us!

First of all, the staff was welcoming, warm and attentive to our needs. They even adapted several elements in the house to be able to welcome Eli properly. He was 3 months old at the time. Secondly, the place was clean and safe. Considering the fact that the slightest cold could lead to a relapse of Eli’s health, it was reassuring for us to know that the staff of the house paid particular attention to the hygiene and well-being of the residents. Thirdly, the social life was enjoyable. We stayed at the transplant house for over five months. As the days went by, strong bonds were formed between us, the various staff members and the other residents of the House. We became a big family! The fact that we can exchange and share our experiences with people who are going through much the same thing as us is reassuring. It breaks the isolation. Even today, despite the distance and time, these ties remain! Finally, the transplant house has become our home. In fact, every year, when we go to Montreal for Eli’s annual follow-ups, we are happy to be able to stay at the transplant house again. We enjoy seeing familiar faces and getting to know the new residents.

One thing is certain, the transplant house was Eli’s very first home! A home where we were able to give him a semblance of a normal life, despite the medical storm that had been raging since his birth. We are extremely grateful for this! ”

Rachel Lacasse, Éli’s mother

Diane and Alain Pard, donor and transplant recipient

“Here is our story, two Abitibians from Amos….

I am Diane Dandurand Pard and in October 2010, Alain Pard, my spouse, received my kidney. We have been together for more than 40 years. One would say that this was a great opportunity, but the greatest luck we had at that time was to have been able to convalesce together at the Maison des greffés Lina Cyr in Montreal.  We greatly appreciated this chance and we still do every time we have to go to medical appointments, which, by the way, are quite frequent in the life of a transplant recipient.  Imagine being faced with such a situation, with all the medical questions, the uncertainties of before and after the operation, that’s when we came to know La Maison des greffés….

Diane and Alain Pard, donor and transplant recipient

Feeling at home, sleeping at home, eating at home, recovering … and so on.   What would we have done back then, without La Maison des greffés?

The mission of this house is essential for all of us, people from remote areas, it is our home when we are in Montreal in situations that are not always easy, let’s consider ourselves lucky and privileged to have a place, a refuge that we can count on without ruining ourselves, because there are really ridiculous rates out there….

So our mission now is to support and encourage the MAISON DES GREFFÉS to continue to do what it has been doing for over 27 years…now let’s give: SO THAT LIFE CAN GO ON!!!

Thank you for your welcome past and future…”

Diane Dandurand Pard (donor) and Alain Pard (transplant recipient)

Serge Trépanier, liver transplant recipient

MY HAVEN OF PEACE

“In March 2005, an adventure began that was laborious at first, but would become magnificent with time. I was told at that time that I had 3 months to live if I did not receive a new liver. This is quite a blow to take.

Against all odds, the specialist in Montreal who told me this news immediately asked me to stay close to the hospital to undergo numerous tests. He called Mrs. Lina Cyr to tell her that he would send me immediately to the Maison des greffés.

I met this great lady for the first time, she reassured me with her words and softened this bad news.  Thanks to her welcome and the quality of the comfort of this magnificent house which will become my HAVEN OF PEACE, I immediately felt at home.

I received a superb gift in June, the transplant which went very well and I was able to leave the hospital quickly to convalesce at the Maison des greffés. Unfortunately, three days later, I had to return to the hospital with a deadly fungus problem that left me bedridden and very ill for two months.

During this battle to stay alive and while I was wishing for a miracle, the idea emerged to do something to help the Transplant House if I got out of that hospital bed.

After this idea had gained ground, we decided to do a 350 km bike challenge on the roads of Abitibi in August 2006. Thanks to the involvement of my good friends, it was a success from the first year and this motivated us to repeat the event in 2007.

It is with my great transplant accomplice Patrice Dionne, my cycling buddies from Abitibi as well as cyclists from all over the province that we start the Montreal-Quebec challenge over a distance of 320 km. This year, we are at our 15th Lina Cyr Bike Challenge. Over the years, this event has become the main fundraising activity for the Maison des greffés and we are all very proud of it.

Long live this magnificent house for transplant patients which has become my HAVEN OF PEACE. ”