Late Dialysis Patient’s Family Raises $ 18K for Hospital’s New TVs

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The family of a LaSalle man who lost a lifelong battle with kidney disease last month raised more than $ 18,000 to buy new televisions for local dialysis patients to enjoy.

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Brian Bacon, born with underdeveloped kidneys, underwent three kidney transplants and underwent dialysis many times throughout his 40 years. In the last weeks of his life, he required dialysis five days a week for four hours straight, far more than the 12 hours a week of dialysis for an average patient.

During that time, the “funny, loving, caring and kind” man regularly complained to his younger sister, Kristyn Lovas, about broken televisions on the regional kidney show at Windsor Regional Hospital. Instead of television for entertainment, he would use FaceTime Lovas and his young nieces while a machine filtered toxins and waste from his blood.

It just shows the impact Brian had on people’s lives.

“Even though he hated it, he actually gave us a lot of extra time together because he was just sitting there with nothing to do,” Lovas said.

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When Bacon was healthy enough, he optimistically told her, he would organize a fundraiser for the kidney program to buy new televisions. But his condition worsened and he died on August 20.

Brian Bacon and his sister Kristyn Lovas see each other on an unspecified date.  Bacon died as a result of kidney disease on August 20, 2021, and his family raised money for the kidney program in his honor.
Brian Bacon and his sister Kristyn Lovas see each other on an unspecified date. Bacon died as a result of kidney disease on August 20, 2021, and his family raised money for the kidney program in his honor. Photo courtesy of Kristyn Lovas /Windsor Star

In honor of Bacon, Lovas joined forces with other family members, Bacon’s friends, and colleagues at Syncreon, to make his goal his own and raise money for the hospital to replace malfunctioning televisions. Lovas said he hoped to raise around $ 2,000 and was surprised by the number of donations that came through.

“It just shows the impact Brian had on people’s lives,” he said. “People looked up to him and wanted to help make his wish come true.”

The kidney program has approximately 52 televisions, one for each patient receiving treatment at any given time.

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“Patients appreciate television to watch their favorite movies or TV shows or to pass the time,” said Kristen Mailloux, director of the kidney program. “Brian was an advocate for all aspects of patient comfort and the support from Brian, his family and friends is beyond words.”

More donations can be made to the kidney dialysis fund in Bacon’s memory by visiting wrh.on.ca/support. The funds raised “will directly support the purchase of new televisions on the show,” the hospital said.

Brian Bacon and his sister Kristyn Lovas are being treated at the Windsor Regional Hospital Renal Unit on an unspecified date.  Bacon died as a result of kidney disease on August 20, 2021, and his family raised money for the kidney program in his honor.
Brian Bacon and his sister Kristyn Lovas are being treated at the Windsor Regional Hospital Renal Unit on an unspecified date. Bacon died as a result of kidney disease on August 20, 2021, and his family raised money for the kidney program in his honor. Photo courtesy of Kristyn Lovas /Windsor Star

Although Bacon is gone, Lovas said he wants to continue the legacy his brother created.

“There are always things to enjoy, things to be happy about and to smile about, despite all the evil,” he said.

From April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, Windsor Regional Hospital provided 38,777 hemodialysis treatments. The kidney program currently sees about 240 patients who receive treatment three to four times a week.

During his lifetime, Bacon also strongly advocated for organ donation awareness and urged those he met to become donors.

“He knew the struggle of needing a kidney and having to wait,” Lovas said. “He wanted to raise awareness about how important it was to sign his donor card.”

To register your consent for organ and tissue donation, visit beadonor.ca.

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LaSalle's Brian Bacon died of kidney disease on August 20, 2021. In his honor, friends, family and colleagues raised more than $ 18,000 for the Windsor Regional Hospital kidney program.
LaSalle’s Brian Bacon died of kidney disease on August 20, 2021. In his honor, friends, family and colleagues raised more than $ 18,000 for the Windsor Regional Hospital kidney program. Photo courtesy of Windsor Regional Hospital /Windsor Star
Brian Bacon and his niece Brooklyn appear on an unspecified date.  Bacon died as a result of kidney disease on August 20, 2021, and his family raised money for the Windsor Regional Hospital kidney program in his honor.
Brian Bacon and his niece Brooklyn appear on an unspecified date. Bacon died as a result of kidney disease on August 20, 2021, and his family raised money for the Windsor Regional Hospital kidney program in his honor. Photo courtesy of Kristyn Lovas /Windsor Star

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Reference-windsorstar.com

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