The guest of honour, 33-year-old Marc Bains, lived with heart failure for 10 years before receiving his healthy heart in June after 10 months on the transplant waitlist.
"There were points where I thought I might not make it, but needless to say I always seemed to bounce back," Bains told On The Coast's Gloria Macarenko.
"I was ready for the heart, I was ready for the transplant and to move on to the next stage."
The surgery was performed by Dr. Anson Cheung, surgical director of the Cardiac Transplant Program of B.C., and took place 30 years after the first heart-transplant procedure was performed in B.C.
Dr. Anson Cheung, surgical director of the Cardiac Transplant Program of BC, holds Marc Bains' new heart. He performed the 500th procedure at St. Paul’s, where all adult heart transplants in the province have taken place since 1996. (Providence Health Care Vancouver)
Bains calls his diagnosis with heart failure a "blessing in disguise" and the journey an "adventure" because of the meaningful connections he made in the cardiac community.
One of those connections was with Jillianne Code, a two-time transplant survivor, with whom Bains co-founded the HeartLife Foundation.
The foundation is the first and only patient advocacy group for the estimated 600,000 people living with heart failure in Canada.
500th heart transplant recipient @marcbains is grateful to have received the gift of life. pic.twitter.com/pW9t1pUXgB
It's been just over two months since the transplant, and Bains said he's looking forward to getting back to work, sports and living his life to the fullest.
More than 1.2 million British Columbians have registered for the Organ Donor Registry, and more than 600 British Columbians are on the waitlist for an organ transplant, according to a release from Providence Health Care.
"I just want everyone to know that it's easy to become an organ donor," said Bains. "It's fast, it's simple and you could save a life."
To hear the full interview listen to media below:
With files from On The Coast
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