In 2011, I was competing in a local cross-country motocross (motorcycle) race with hill climbs, trails, creek, and log crossings. At one of the creek crossings, I lost my balance and when I put down my left foot I immediately felt an excruciating pain in my knee. The pain went away fairly quickly but when I tried to remount my bike, I could tell there was something wrong. An MRI the next day confirmed that I’d torn my ACL. I had surgery shortly after and recovery went much better than expected. My doctors were very pleased with my range of motion immediately after surgery and throughout my rehab. Everything seemed to be going great.
Two years later, I was working around my property on my tractor when I accidentally unearthed an underground bumblebee hive. Needless to say, they weren’t very happy with me and stung me multiple times. When I jumped from the seat of my tractor to escape them, I came down on my left leg. I was able to catch my balance, but my knee didn’t feel right. I followed up with my orthopedic surgeon the next day and found I had completely destroyed the tendon graft and would require another surgery to repair it again.
That’s where my CTS donor comes in. Without my graft, I wouldn’t be able to continue my active lifestyle. I still ride dirt bikes and I have 2 active kids that also appreciate that I am not limited in my activity. I’m also an Organ Recovery Coordinator for LifeShare of Oklahoma (Oklahoma’s Organ Procurement Organization) so I’m very passionate about donation. Being a recipient gives me the ability to talk about tissue donation and emphasize that it is NOT JUST life-enhancing, IT IS lifesaving. If I was not able to do the things that make me who I am, I wouldn’t be the same person.