People hear about major organ donations and transplants but rarely of other important and life-changing tissue gifts. Eighteen years ago, I injured my lumbar spine and the original plan was a conservative, non-surgical treatment. But in 2009, I started to lose feeling in my legs, and it was clear a more drastic, surgical intervention was needed.
It’s been four months since what I hope to be the last of four surgical procedures were performed, fusing my L5-S1. The 10-hour operation accessed my spine from both the front and back. They removed the damaged intervertebral disc, replacing it with a titanium spacer and donated tissue to stabilize the spine and provide the best chance to heal properly. I am amazed at the outcome. Thanks to the surgery and donated tissue, I experience far less chronic pain and a much better quality of life.
Those who have never experienced that kind of pain can’t understand how debilitating it can be. After years of chronic pain, I look to the future with great confidence. This tissue donation has been as important to me as a major organ would be to someone in need of a transplant.
With this in mind I’d like to thank the family of the individual who made this donation possible. Their generosity gave me the chance for a much better life.