Wall Of Life - Julie - Fifty Lives

Tissue Recipient

My name is Julie. I am 53 years old and I have been married almost 30 years to my husband, a retired police officer. Our 22 year old son was ROTC in college and now he is a Second Lieutenant in the Army. Our 21 year old daughter is finishing up her senior year of undergrad and is heading to medical school.

Back in 1996 I had surgery for a herniated disc in my lower spine. All was well for a while, but slowly over the years it degenerated. Often my back would “go out” and for days or weeks I would walk crooked and be in pain. Eventually I started losing feeling in my foot. My spine progressively got worse and recently my doctor said it was time to fuse it.

I feel like I missed out on so much when the kids were little. I would take them to the playground, but could only sit and watch. Playing with them was usually limited to sit down things or activities that weren’t physical demanding. With friends, I missed out on canoe trips, backyard volleyball, hiking, and other activities.

Now that I’ve had successful spinal fusion surgery, I am looking forward to being active and involved. Fourteen days post op, I walked a mile! I would love to one day meet the donor family to thank them in person. I wrote a letter to them, but I would love to have the opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation for the precious gift of their loved one.

My recent Facebook post:

“During surgery a couple weeks ago, I received donor tissue. I just wrote a letter to the donor’s family to try to express my appreciation. It was difficult to write since my gain is someone else’s heartbreaking loss, but I wanted them to know how grateful I am.

PSA: Consider being an organ/tissue donor if you haven’t already. You can help several people with your gifts of tissue & organs, and the recipients will be forever grateful.”