Bone Allograft Recipient Finds Relief from Pain  |  September 18, 2014

Susan and HelenaSusan has been many things in her life: an acrobat, a hairdresser, a skier and a high-diver. One thing she never expected to add to the list was bone allograft recipient.

She tried to manage excruciating back pain for two years before undergoing a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion procedure. She was hesitant to have surgery because she was taking care of her parents and keeping up with her steady stream of hairdressing clients.

I was miserable for a long time,” she said. “The thought of back surgery was not even comprehensible to me until I had exhausted all of my options. It was clear that I needed surgery.”

When Susan’s doctor explained that he was going to use a bone allograft in the procedure, she was surprised.

I understood organ donation, but wasn’t familiar with tissue donation,” said Susan. “It was awesome to learn more about it and I felt it was a blessing for me.”

After surgery, Susan faced a long recovery period. For a woman used to taking long walks with her dog and spending hours on her feet cutting hair, the inactivity proved difficult.

My activity level dropped drastically while I recovered. Convalescing was the hardest thing for me. Even though your body can’t be active, your mind still wants to be.”

Before her surgery, Susan would drive to her favorite park and sit on a bench with her dog because they couldn’t enjoy their usual walk. After physical therapy and time to heal, Susan and her dog have resumed their cherished time walking in the park.

I’m very grateful for the tissue donation,” she said. “I will always remember the act of kindness and generosity that helped me heal.”

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