125 Voices - Jim - Fifty Lives


Tissue Recipient

In January of 2012 I had an accident and fell from a ladder about 7 feet onto the deck at my home. The fall caused the ligaments holding my collar bone to snap as well as bruising my ribs and shoulder. The end of the collar bone next to the shoulder raised about 1-1/4 inches, which destabilized the shoulder.

As part of my job I climb towers ranging in height from 35 feet to nearly 600. I barely had any movement in the shoulder and almost no strength at all. There was no way I could perform those duties. Even after months of rehab I was unable to climb anything other than a small ladder and even that was not as safe as I would have liked.

I was reminded pointedly that climbing was part of my job description and if I was unable to perform my duties I would have to find work elsewhere.

After discussing this with my doctor we decided that surgery was the only option left and we scheduled it for late October. He used a ligament that had been donated through a donor program to repair my shoulder. Since then I have been in therapy to restore the capabilities I had lost due to the fall. I now have full range of motion and much of the strength I had lost is returning. In April I am scheduled to go get my certification training so I can resume climbing.

This has saved my job and my livelihood. While I do not know who donated the tissue that saved my livelihood, he/she has my heartfelt thanks as well as the family that allowed the donation without objection.

I, and all of my family members, have signed up as tissue/organ donors since this has happened. I urge everyone to consider becoming a donor and letting your friends and family know of your decision. Your donation may save a life or, as in my case, help them to be able to support their family either in the work environment or even to continue their way of life.