Please... Be An Organ Donor


The last four days has been a roller coaster of emotions, yes today and not today and finally a positive outcome to almost a year of pain, discomfort and unknowns.

My eldest daughter (middle child) finally had a surgery that she has been needing, praying for and waiting for notification of a donor being available.

While it was not a vital organ needed to save her life, it was a donor body part she needed to have quality of life.

For the last ten months this is how she lived her life; wearing this leg walking brace and using crutches (image below).


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Over the course of a few months, she had noticed excruciating pain in her knee and her ability to walk was becoming harder and harder. She had gone to a walk-in clinic, had several MRIs done and finally, an orthopaedic doctor/surgeon, told her the diagnosis was she needed to have her kneecap replaced. But it wasn't as simple as that.

In the end she ended up having one surgery (back in November 2019), but it wasn't enough to save her kneecap. It was literally deteriorating under her skin.

  • She couldn't walk without the crutches
  • She started working from home (she has a GREAT employer)
  • Her driving was almost non-existent (as it was her right knee effected)
  • She couldn't even drive or walk her daughter to school
  • She couldn't even play with her daughter or go to the park near their home

She had no quality of life beyond the four walls of her home. Which is sad for an almost 31 year old.

The doctor set her up on a donor list.

This was our family's first ever experience with needing a donor.

Well last Thursday she got the call! A donor had been found. She had to wait for the perfect donor as she is 6'3" tall and needed the kneecap to be a specific size to fit her body joint.

This kneecap traveled over 1,000 miles to make it here. It came from North Carolina and we are in Michigan.

As we waited Friday to learn what time the surgery would be on Saturday, she got a call from her health insurance company who stopped the process; as they said they needed to review other options.

WHAT?! Other options? The doctor had informed the insurance review board this was the last option for her months ago when the other surgery didn't help save her kneecap.

It was a solemn moment Friday morning for us. If she didn't get this surgery done now, we had no clue if the kneecap would go to someone else; or how long she'd have to wait for another donor to become available.

My daughter, stubborn and not one to let this stop her get her life back, started making phone calls. Finally... just before the insurance company closed for the weekend, she got through to the person leading the review process and was able to get the approval! We rejoiced!

So Saturday she headed off to the hospital and after a few hours, she had a new kneecap. The allograft, patella reconstruction and tibia osteotomy was complete.


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Now she is on the road to recovery!

When this all started months ago, I double checked my state's driver's license to make sure I was an organ donor (which I am) and I plead with others out there to do the same.

No matter the organ needed, no matter if it's just a bone... you can help save someone's life; even if it is only the quality of life.

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Comments 12


Hi @goldendawne, a modest tip of appreciation:
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24.02.2020 11:56
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24.02.2020 11:57
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24.02.2020 11:57
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Good to hear it worked out for your daughter.

I had not heard of this sort of transplant before.

24.02.2020 17:05
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Honestly I never had either. My husband's first thought was when the doctor registered her for the donor program was why can't they make a 3-D kneecap? While I don't understand all the medical terminology, the doctor said this was not an option.

Now she has months of PT and some OT ahead of her. I'm just happy she will be out of pain one day soon.

25.02.2020 10:48
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Hope your daughter makes a good recovery as speedily as possible.

25.02.2020 17:20
0

So happy to hear things worked out. I am an organ donor, but not sure anyone will ever want or be able to use mine due to my illnesses and auto-immune issues. That saddens me.

24.02.2020 17:44
0

I completely understand. I have an auto-immune disease myself, but I am still registered as the only body parts not good to donate are my ears and other related balance pieces that are affected by the AI.

I never realized how stressful all this could be.

25.02.2020 10:50
0

Yeah,
I actually have Graves Disease and Multi-system Sarcoidosis. I am hoping they can use something from this used up carcass to help someone. Either way, still kicking, got one more to get out of the house, a few years traveling with my wife, then I can kick the bucket and they can skin me and mount my head in a hunting lodge :-).

25.02.2020 10:54
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24.02.2020 19:28
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I wish we could be organ donors but chronic Lyme excludes me. My husband's chronic illness also excludes him.

But I am delighted to hear your daughter won over the insurance company and the surgery was a success!

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27.02.2020 12:51
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