“For several years, and after two knee operations, I remained active in softball, weight lifting and martial arts. Then I started to experience some pain that caused me to avoid some activities I enjoyed. It kept getting worse, to the point where it was painful just to stand up after playing on the floor with my children or carry my son upstairs to bed.
My doctor told me that the original procedure to fix my knee was starting to fail. He explained that without another procedure to replace the damaged ligament, there was a good chance it would get worse. To fix my knee my doctor said he would use a bone and tissue graft from a donor, which would become my new ligament. Due to complications from the original procedure, it took two operations and two grafts to repair my knee.
After that, I still did not put myself in the category of being the recipient of bone and tissue donation. However, my perception changed when I heard someone from an organ recovery agency talk about a well-known football player being a recipient of bone/tissue donation with the same operation I’d had. As I mentioned, I always thought the term “transplant recipient” was reserved for people who need a lifesaving procedure. Now I know it is also for people who are trying to regain their quality of life.
Once again, I am able to do all of the activities I enjoyed before and most importantly, keep up with my children! My family and I are grateful for the generous act of all donors and their families. They gave me back my quality of life.”
Bruce is now an advocate for donation and is part of the State of Ohio’s Green Chair Campaign promoting organ, eye and tissue donation.