A big part of my life is being active – I love to play soccer, hike and workout at the gym. But during college, I started having pain and stiffness in my big toe. At first it was just an inconvenience, but as time went on the pain increased and so did my symptoms. I started to develop degenerative arthritis which caused eroded cartilage and bone spurs.
When the pain and symptoms became too debilitating, I went to the doctor to have it addressed. It turned out the pain I was having were all caused by a condition called hallux rigidus and I needed surgery and a birth tissue graft to correct it.
Before the surgery, I had severe pain when I tried to wear shoes to work and when I tried to do the things I love: playing soccer, hiking and working out. Now I can wear shoes without discomfort and take part in my favorite activities without excruciating pain.
I work at Community Tissue Services and am familiar with tissue donation and transplantation but personally being touched by the gift of a birth tissue graft has opened up my eyes about how surgeries using tissue allografts can impact the quality of someone’s life. To my donor, thank you for allowing me to continue to do the activities that I love.