ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – An Inuk activist has been released from hospital for a second time since her health struggles raised awareness about an Ontario rule that requires alcoholics to be sober for six months before they can be eligible for a liver transplant.
Delilah Saunders, 25, posted to Facebook on Sunday saying she feels better and is ready to go home after spending several days at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, N.L.
Saunders, a prominent Indigenous women’s activist from Labrador, was diagnosed with pancreatitis on Wednesday night, just a few days after she was released from a Toronto hospital where she was being treated for acute liver failure.
She has said doctors initially told her she was ineligible for a liver transplant because she had not abstained from alcohol for the prior six months, but later said it appeared the procedure wouldn’t be necessary.
Her case put a spotlight on an Ontario transplant program’s six-month abstinence policy, which doctors have defended by citing research that suggests some alcoholics return to drinking after the procedure.
Saunders told her social media followers that she is “over hospitals,” but says the nurses and doctors in St. John’s could not have provided her with better care.
She told The Canadian Press in a Facebook message that she has been in touch with other advocates about reforming the Ontario rule.
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