Tissue Donation Is A Gift
Two months ago, I had ACL repair surgery. That is a ligament that supports the stability of your knee as you twist. I had apparently twisted mine too far too many times over the years. If you get the repair when you’re young, they use your own ligaments, usually from your patellar (kneecap) region. Reason being is that you are using your own tissue and there’s no risk of rejection by the body. I’m not a spring chicken, so my orthopedic doctor suggested using donor tissue. There’s a small risk of rejection, but they have their ways of choosing the right tissue for the job. Also, they can order a certain grade of tissue as opposed to finding that your own patellar tissue is less than adequate for the job.
I’ve been journaling my recovery and will post that at a later date. I wanted to share with you today that along with the tissue donation, I received a card with information on it so that I could say thank you to the donor’s family in an anonymous fashion. 42% of the U.S. population is registered as organ or tissue donors, which is an impressive number. The donor’s family has no way to know who got what from their deceased relative unless the recipient uses this program. I decided to leave my donor’s family this note:
It has been two months since I received the generous donation of ligament tissue to repair my ACL. I have been having knee issues for a long time and it finally had gotten to a point to get it taken care of. I am progressing very well in my recovery and am looking forward to getting back to all the things I enjoy doing, but most importantly, it will help me get back to work as a firefighter/paramedic. To be able to go into a medical scene or be working on a structure fire with the full confidence that my knee will help me finish the job is invaluable. I’m halfway through my career and with this repair, I will be able to finish it strong.
The other activities I do help keep me physically fit and mentally strong to perform my duties at work. Playing hockey, the rock climbing gym, bicycling, running, and traditional workout routines help to decompress my mind as I maintain my body’s ability to do whatever is called upon me to do at work.
I cannot thank your donor enough for giving me those abilities again. Go forward from today knowing that the donation made to me will be used for doing good in my community and for me to enjoy doing activities with my family. Again, thank you so very much!