Wall Of Life - Susan - Fifty Lives

Tissue Recipient

"I received bone grafts donated to Community Tissue Services and I am grateful to my donor who gave me a new lease on life.  At 53 I was healthy, working in my gardens and at other outdoor activities. I was able to lift, stoop, turn, walk and run without pain. And although I have severe scoliosis, I really was never bothered by it. But a freak accident changed all that and I found myself in progressively more pain. Every day became a little harder than the day before until, finally, I had to use a cane to help me get around, ultimately ending up in the living room floor unable to move without excruciating pain.

After fighting that pain for almost two years, I was admitted through the emergency room on a Sunday night and in surgery two days later. Through the skilled hands of my wonderful surgeon and the bone grafts needed to repair and fuse my back, which came from a tissue donor, I have my life back! It was an eight-hour surgery and I don't think any of us were sure what kind of residual pain or loss of ability I would have when I awoke.

But waking up was a blessing. I opened my eyes and quickly knew the surgery was a success. The pain was gone. And though it took me about a year to get back on my feet, I suffer no more!

"Most importantly, my grandson was less than one year old before my surgery, I cried at the prospect of not being able to carry him or play actively with him the way I had hoped I would. Today, Timmy and I play as hard as he wants. I'm up and down with him and able to join him actively in our play.

"So you can see how my tissue donor and his/her family gave me a selfless gift. It may sound corny but nothing that allows a woman to continue to experience life without debilitating pain is corny. When my time comes, I too will be a donor to the tissue bank. My donor gift was priceless and I someday hope to pass the generosity of tissue donation forward.