Today, April 6, 2022, marks 4 years since the tragic Humboldt Bronco’s bus crash where sixteen lives were lost, thirteen were injured and countless others, family, friends, teammates, and strangers were left heartbroken.
It was April 7, 2018, when Logan Boulet’s parents, Bernadine and Toby, were told their son succumbed to his injuries and they made the decision to honor Logan’s wish to donate his organs. This was the start of the Logan Boulet Effect which touched Kailynn’s heart deeply.
I remember the exact spot on Highway 35 I was travelling when the news came across the radio. Yes, I said Highway 35, the same highway that the tragic crash happened, but I was approximately 370 km south of where the crash occurred. I was on my way to Weyburn to pick Kailynn up from work. I never imagined that a mere 4 months later, I would be signing the same papers that Logan’s parents signed. The consent forms required by the Saskatchewan Transplant Program for harvesting of a loved one’s organs.
I, like Bernadine and Toby, signed for Kailynn’s final wish. A selfless choice that she made at 16 years of age because she followed Logan’s story. A selfless choice that gave three people a chance at life. A selfless gift made by a beautiful soul.
When we were told Kailynn wasn’t going to make it, and because we knew Kailynn’s wish to be an organ donor, there was no hard conversation for the doctors. I know it sounds odd that the parent who lost a child is worried about the doctors. It’s their job, right? But doctors are human, and humans have feelings. Along with the difficult conversations that these professionals must have with families, I can’t imagine, if I hadn’t known Kailynn’s wishes, how I would have reacted to that conversation brought to me after my heart was just ripped from my chest. With organ donation time is crucial. There is no “can I think about it”. Organs can only stay viable from machines for so long before they deteriorate. As I looked Dr. Hansen in his eyes and said to him “Kailynn is an organ donor. Please do everything in your power to make her last wish happen”, tears fell from his eyes. They could have been there before these words came from my mouth, but I can’t remember.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of organ and tissue donation, including blood donation. I encourage everyone to not only think about it and talk about it, but to register. When you do register, please tell your family your wishes. Your family gets the final say. You won’t be here to say this is what I want!
I have met many fellow angel moms who, like me, are the signatory on those very important papers. One of those moms, Debra, made a post the other day on Facebook. I was going to quote Debra, but when asked she said it wasn’t her quote. I am still going to leave this here as a quote, because somebody said it, I just don’t know who!
“Some people never meet their hero. I gave birth to mine” ~ unknown
Kailynn is a hero in many people’s eyes. Mine, the rest of her family and friends, many strangers too numerous to count who messaged me (and I still have all of those messages) and the three people who were given a second chance. Unfortunately, Saskatchewan does not have a registry for donor families and recipients to sign up in order to meet. Despite this, I have communicated with two of the recipients and they have replied. With a busy life, I have not replied, but I will. I am hoping in time we can meet. I want them to know who Kailynn was. Part of the “rules” of communication is it must stay anonymous.
I may have lost a huge part of my life at 8:52 a.m. on August 22, 2018, but on August 25, 2018, I know my angel became a hero to many and that love fills in all the cracks of this mommas broken heart.
Please go to www.givelifesask.ca to register to become an organ donor and remember TELL YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS YOUR WISHES. And don’t forget to wear green tomorrow for Green Shirt Day.
Kailynn became a donor because of Logan. I became a donor because of Kailynn. There is always the thought that becoming a donor will never happen and hopefully I will live a long life to old age, but in the meantime I want to live with the thought that I too someday could become someone’s hero if such a time arises.
Sandra (a hero’s mom)
There is so much of my past that has been a focus of mine since Kailynn passed. Of course, Kailynn being number one! But a HUGE part of who I am today has come into focus! Most know that I became a mom at the age of 17 to Kailynn’s older brother Michael (I always think about how I gave life at the same age that Kailynn lost hers….). I was lucky enough that in Regina there was a program called Balfour Special Tutorial which has since been renamed The Shirley Schneider Support Centre after the marvelous woman who started it all many years ago. Michael also attended The Mackenzie Infant Care Centre 30 years ago! These two programs and the support they provide are extremely dear to me. Late last year when SKS was doing our clothing drive for warm winter clothing for those in need, a group of extremely talented ladies had made some toddler mittens that were like puppets! We decided as a group to donate to MICC for the littles at the centers. This is when I met Edie Paquette, Executive Director of MICC. I dropped off the donation in the normal COVID-safe fashion, hastily sharing a brief story about my time at MICC. Fast forward a few months, and Edie reached out to me to ask if I would present “Kailynn’s Story” to the MICC staff during a professional development day on March 7. Kailynn’s story doesn’t have any obvious connection to the school or the daycare except myself, but what I wanted to show these amazing humans was the results of their work. I was standing in front of them because I had a story to tell. That story was my trauma. But what they didn’t realize is the ladies that were in their positions 30 years ago helped shape me into the person I am today. They, along with the staff of the then Balfour Special Tutorial, played a part in my strength, my determination, and my drive to share with others that there is sunshine after a storm.