Eva Markvoort, the young Vancouver woman whose battle with cystic fibrosis and potentially life-saving double-lung transplant were chronicled in the excellent documentary 65_RedRoses, died on Saturday. She was 25.
The news was heartbreaking, but not unexpected for those of us following her LiveJournal page; after it became clear that her body was rejecting her new lungs last fall, her health had deteriorated rapidly. She'd gone into hospital late last year, hoping to hang on long enough for a transplant; in February, surrounded by her family, she posted this wrenching goodbye video.
After that, new posts would appear every few days when she was well enough to type (or dictate), detailing the slow, inexorable collapse of her respiratory system. She mentioned having a few close calls, and pointing out that these resuscitations were at her own instruction.
"I had told them that if this were ever to happen that I am not ready yet," she wrote, and in those words I clearly heard the strong, lively voice of the woman I'd interviewed last April for a cover story when 65_RedRoses made its debut at the Hot Docs film festival. (It was a phoner; she was at a youth hostel in San Diego, on the first proper vacation she'd ever had.)
We met just once, at the after-party for the film's premiere; as soon as I introduced myself, she grabbed me in a bear hug like I was an old friend she hadn't seen in months. I soon found out she approached everyone (and everything) with that level of vivacity; she'd spent so much time being sick that she saw no reason not to throw herself into life now. If you'd told me then that she'd be gone in less than a year, I wouldn't have believed it. Not Eva. No way.
If you have an organ-donor card, please make sure it's signed. And if you don't have one, you can get one here. That's the best way I can think to honour her memory.[rssbreak]