Just weeks after competing in a mini-triathlon with his three sons, Kurt lost the ability to use his right shoulder. Prior to the injury-causing accident, he could often be found competing in triathlons, barefoot-water skiing, test riding motor cycles, All Terrain Vehicles and snow mobiles or taking part in his favorite activity: playing ball with his sons.
While testing the brakes on an all-terrain vehicle as part of his occupation, Kurt crashed, severing the four main tendons and ligaments in his shoulder.
“I was told a break would have been easier to fix,” he said. “After a month of immobilized healing, it became clear that a total reconstruction would be needed to restore the arm and shoulder function.”
What Kurt didn’t know was that somewhere, someone who had lost a loved one had donated tissue, making the reconstruction of his shoulder
“I was at home recovering when a postcard arrived in the mail,” said Kurt. “Up to this point, the only information I had about the surgery was that it took twice as long as expected.”
The postcard he received told him that someone donated the tissue that was used to repair his shoulder and “What a gift,” said Kurt. “I will remember this gift each time I throw a ball, ride a bike or just try to keep up with my active family.”
After less than six months, his rebuilt shoulder is nearly 100 percent back to normal.
“My only limitation is that my fastball is not as fast as it used to be,” said Kurt. He can, however, throw a ball with his sons again.
“This may not be a surprise, but I was a full anatomical donor,” he said. “If something were to happen to me, I plan to pass this gift on to others.”