Snowboarding has been a huge part of John’s life for almost 20 years, so his life changed drastically when an injury forced him off the mountains. On a beautiful powder day in 2013, John fell and dislocated his shoulder and fractured his humeral head.
“My injury prevented me from being active and affected every aspect of my day-to-day life,” he said. “Needless to say, it ended my snowboarding season and sidelined me from just about all physical activity for months.”
John received a bone allograft during the procedure to repair his damaged shoulder. Bone allografts are created from donated human tissue and can be used for skeletal reconstruction.
“I was immediately grateful that a stranger had decided to donate tissue to someone they would never meet,” said John.
John was familiar with what his recovery process might entail after enduring several other shoulder surgeries. His activity level was restricted and he completed rigorous physical therapy. After several months of healing, he got his active lifestyle back.
He now participates in the array of outdoor sports Colorado has to offer – he enjoyed a great snowboarding season this past winter and looks forward to the summer activities he loves.
“I am back to golfing, running, hiking and camping,” he said. “I have no idea how much longer the recovery process may have been without an allograft or if I would have as much use of my arm today without it. As with my other shoulder procedures, my shoulder is not the same as it was before the injury, but life would look drastically different for me without the allograft or procedure.”
John is grateful for the donation that helped repair his shoulder and humbled by the generosity of the donor and the donor’s family. Receiving an allograft reaffirmed his belief in donation and he encourages others to register as donors.
“I have always elected to be an organ and tissue donor and my experience receiving a donation only reinforces my desire to donate my organ and tissues,” he said. “I have also reached out to friends and family about receiving a tissue donation and encouraged them to look into electing to become donors themselves.”