Ontario refuses to give liver transplant for MMIWG advocate Delilah Saunders - APTN NewsAPTN News

Ontario refuses to give liver transplant for MMIWG advocate Delilah Saunders

Annette Francis
APTN News
Delilah Saunders, a young Inuk woman from Labrador who has also been an advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is in a fight for her own life in Ottawa.

Family and friends say Saunders, 26, whose sister was Loretta Saunders, a university student who was murdered, is in need of a liver transplant.

“What the doctors are saying is that she’s very sick and that she’s needing an intervention that they’re not willing or at least from an organizational policy level, they’re not willing to give her,” said friend Kelly Morrissey.

“And that intervention would be a liver transplant.

Saunders is the younger sister of Loretta Saunders who was murdered in Halifax in 2014.

Since her murder, she has been a strong voice for murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and was a member of the MMIWG family advisory circle.

Delilah was also a land and water protector.

Last year she participated in a hunger strike over the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in her home of Labrador.

Saunders was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 9.

“She was complaining of nausea,” said Morrissey. “She was definitely really sick at that time, but she was ambulatory, she was walking around, she was talking, obviously in a lot of distress, but we had no idea that it would, we would be at this point here today.”

Saunders has been diagnosed with acute liver failure due to the use of Tylenol in conjunction with alcohol consumption.

“She’s not eligible because of this policy where they do not give people with a history of substance abuse livers,” said friend Rebecca Moore. “Essentially they told us her livers failed she needs a new one and she’s not going to get it.”

Her friends are advocating for a liver transplant to save her life.

They have a petition demanding that Saunders be accepted as a liver transplant candidate.

“What we’re hoping for is to put pressure on Trillium Gift of Life Foundations that controls all the policies around organs donation here in Ontario,” said Moore. “And what we’re what we’re hoping for is we want them to waive the policy for Delilah and to accept her as a patient.”

The Gift of Life Network said its policy on six months abstinence from alcohol is a commonly used protocol.

The petition has 3,000 signatures on it according to Saunders’ friends.

afrancis@aptn.ca

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16 Responses to “Ontario refuses to give liver transplant for MMIWG advocate Delilah Saunders”

  1. shame@fmail.com'
    d December 22, 2017 at 4:00 am #

    how many of those quoted are donors

  2. s****@fmail.com'
    d February 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

    how many of those quoted are donors

  3. Desiorincess_29@hotmail.com'
    Lima December 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    It’s important to connect her substance use to larger societal issues here. Canada has failed the indigenous population and clearly, she has been dealing with trauma with the loss of her sister and additional sociohistorical losses. Ontario denying Delilah a transplant is ongoing discrimination towards Indigenous people, which is a problem Canada created! Get it together and take ownership!!

  4. d**************@hotmail.com'
    Lima February 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

    It’s important to connect her substance use to larger societal issues here. Canada has failed the indigenous population and clearly, she has been dealing with trauma with the loss of her sister and additional sociohistorical losses. Ontario denying Delilah a transplant is ongoing discrimination towards Indigenous people, which is a problem Canada created! Get it together and take ownership!!

  5. tracy.googoo@hotmail.com'
    tracy December 16, 2017 at 2:17 am #

    i remember when my mom was diagnosed with liver failure & she too was asked to quit drinkin so she did, and she had to lose 50 lbs, so she can be on the liver transplant list. Her failure wasnt due to alcohol, it was due to her catching hep a as a child, which was told to us that it was an old disease. She only got to lose 30 lbs no matter how hard she tried, nothing worked. If i knew then what i know now about weight loss n eating i wouldve been able to help her more. But the disease itself took her life in 7 mths after diagnoses & blood vessels in her head began to break within 3. The deterioration progressed so fast and she was put on the list earlier on by 4 mths, but we knew she had lost the battle. i am also aboriginal. She died at 46 yrs of age, just 2 yrs from now for me. She was still waiting to go toronto for her transplant 🙁

  6. t***********@hotmail.com'
    tracy February 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

    i remember when my mom was diagnosed with liver failure & she too was asked to quit drinkin so she did, and she had to lose 50 lbs, so she can be on the liver transplant list. Her failure wasnt due to alcohol, it was due to her catching hep a as a child, which was told to us that it was an old disease. She only got to lose 30 lbs no matter how hard she tried, nothing worked. If i knew then what i know now about weight loss n eating i wouldve been able to help her more. But the disease itself took her life in 7 mths after diagnoses & blood vessels in her head began to break within 3. The deterioration progressed so fast and she was put on the list earlier on by 4 mths, but we knew she had lost the battle. i am also aboriginal. She died at 46 yrs of age, just 2 yrs from now for me. She was still waiting to go toronto for her transplant 🙁

  7. Laureenwaters@hotmail.com'
    Laureenwaters@hotmail.xom December 15, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    Obi iousyou so not know about the trauma one experiences with indigenous people. Please look Into the history of abuse we ha e ensured.

  8. mvp60@live.ca'
    Martin Vandenberg December 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    If a 6 months clean protocol is in place, it would suggest that this warrior should take some time to follow through with getting in touch with her roots and do some traditional healing so a new liver will actually benefit her and her community for many years. If she doesn’t deal with her issues at hand, she will not be able to deal with many other issues that plague the community.

  9. l************@hotmail.com'
    Laureenwaters@hotmail.xom February 20, 2019 at 3:52 am #

    Obi iousyou so not know about the trauma one experiences with indigenous people. Please look Into the history of abuse we ha e ensured.

  10. m****@live.ca'
    Martin Vandenberg February 20, 2019 at 3:52 am #

    If a 6 months clean protocol is in place, it would suggest that this warrior should take some time to follow through with getting in touch with her roots and do some traditional healing so a new liver will actually benefit her and her community for many years. If she doesn’t deal with her issues at hand, she will not be able to deal with many other issues that plague the community.

  11. scotthope@hotmail.com'
    Scott December 15, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    Why should all the sick patient’s on the donor list be givin a back seat to some who does not qualify. If you have drug and alcohol problems the chances of your organ rejection is considerably higher than those who are not smokers, drinkers, or who have addiction issues. Its a matter of who bases on there past is best suited for a long anf health life.

    • rdittman@cogeco.ca'
      Richard Dittman December 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

      Delilah’s situation is so sad. assuming there is a shortage of livers available for transplant, available organs must be given to those who have most chance of success. I’m not sure Delilah fits that criteria. Additionally if she is given an exception to the criteria of non drug use, then it wud be discrimination if any other drug user is refused. Let’s hope she gets the time to meet the criteria of 6 months of drug freedom and cud qualify for a new liver then, but I don’t know if she has that much time. this is so sad.

    • thohahenta@kimpatrickweaver.com'
      Thohahente Weaver December 23, 2017 at 12:20 am #

      Actually if you took the time to do some research on the medical literature, this rule is not as widely based as stated herein and is countered by the research that says only a small proportion of patients with an alcohol abuse history take up drinking again apost transplant and with an immediate pharmacological/psychological intervention almost every person gets alcohol free. Just google and read before sounding off your opinion. What Ontario and Canada don’t take into account it the root cause of almost all Indigenous alcoholism is the effects of colonialism, residential school intergenerational trauma, government enforced chronic poverty, PTSD from #MMIW. Now in the minds of most critical thinkers, Canada and Ontario have obligations to clean up the mess of their oppression. Provide the treatment she needs for the underlying causes and get her the transplant. She is a victim of colonialism and now genocide by policy. I can assure you white people don’t fave the same things at all since they are not subject to systemic racism. That’s what this is.

  12. s********@hotmail.com'
    Scott February 20, 2019 at 3:52 am #

    Why should all the sick patient’s on the donor list be givin a back seat to some who does not qualify. If you have drug and alcohol problems the chances of your organ rejection is considerably higher than those who are not smokers, drinkers, or who have addiction issues. Its a matter of who bases on there past is best suited for a long anf health life.

    • r*******@cogeco.ca'
      Richard Dittman February 20, 2019 at 4:56 am #

      Delilah’s situation is so sad. assuming there is a shortage of livers available for transplant, available organs must be given to those who have most chance of success. I’m not sure Delilah fits that criteria. Additionally if she is given an exception to the criteria of non drug use, then it wud be discrimination if any other drug user is refused. Let’s hope she gets the time to meet the criteria of 6 months of drug freedom and cud qualify for a new liver then, but I don’t know if she has that much time. this is so sad.

    • t*********@kimpatrickweaver.com'
      Thohahente Weaver February 20, 2019 at 4:00 am #

      Actually if you took the time to do some research on the medical literature, this rule is not as widely based as stated herein and is countered by the research that says only a small proportion of patients with an alcohol abuse history take up drinking again apost transplant and with an immediate pharmacological/psychological intervention almost every person gets alcohol free. Just google and read before sounding off your opinion. What Ontario and Canada don’t take into account it the root cause of almost all Indigenous alcoholism is the effects of colonialism, residential school intergenerational trauma, government enforced chronic poverty, PTSD from #MMIW. Now in the minds of most critical thinkers, Canada and Ontario have obligations to clean up the mess of their oppression. Provide the treatment she needs for the underlying causes and get her the transplant. She is a victim of colonialism and now genocide by policy. I can assure you white people don’t fave the same things at all since they are not subject to systemic racism. That’s what this is.