Jason Stamm made a heartfelt plea 10 years ago for a second chance at life.

“I have two kids that I love to death. I’m like any dad. I want to see them grow up. I want to see them get married, graduate,” said Stamm.

Stamm was in his late twenties when he contracted a viral heart infection — one that required Stamm to receive a heart transplant.

It was 17 months before Stamm got the call that a heart was available.

Now, 10 years later, Stamm celebrates the life he has, but says it’s a tough pill to swallow.

“It’s hard to understand that someone had to die for me to have a future,” he said.

Saskatchewan is behind the national average for organ donations, and the average wait is two years, according to the Saskatchewan Transplant Program. However, the program says, with a conversation that begins at home, the process can be made a little easier.

“They need to know what we would want to do, should we find ourselves in that horrible situation,” said Erin Schimpf, provincial program manager for The Saskatchewan Transplant Program.

“To ask these friends and family members to make the decision to have us be a donor, it’s difficult for them, so they need to be prepared and know what we would want to do.”

Stamm recently got married and his son is now entering grade 12.

“I think I’m more patient than I used to be, and I do definitely have a better, sunnier outlook on life,” said Stamm. “My life has only gotten better.”

He says the many milestones he has witnessed are all thanks to the heart he received over a decade ago.

--- based on a report by Kelsey Chadwick