Donated tissue is a remarkable gift used by physicians to promote and aid healing. The Gifted Life Podcast is excited to share a story of healing from a tissue recipient. Read a special guest blog from LSU Manship School of Communications graduate, Emma Troth.
Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at registerme.org
My quality of life has been improved through the tissue donation of someone I will never meet.
My name is Emma Troth, and I am a 22-year-old public relations major at Louisiana State University. Until the summer of 2018 I had not given much thought to organ and tissue donation. I had never known anyone who received or donated organs, and I believed I would never have a reason to take an interest in the process. That all changed in June, when I was involved in a motorcycle accident.
I was riding home along River Road late one evening; the air was warm, and the road seemed practically empty for miles. I felt at ease on the familiar road, even though the night sky was overcast, but I had no way of knowing what was about to happen. As I rounded what should have been a perfectly normal curve, my headlights suddenly illuminated a deer that was walking across the road. I had a fraction of a second to react, so I did what most anyone in that situation would have done: I hit the brakes.
My rear wheel suddenly locked up, and I went sliding off the road.
I barely remember tumbling onto the roadside, but upon standing I immediately felt a deep pain in my shoulder. My vision went black, and I collapsed back onto the ground. Fortunately, a couple in a passing car stopped to help me.
Those two good Samaritans drove me to Our Lady of the Lake, where I was informed that I had suffered a grade-five acromioclavicular joint (ac) separation in my right shoulder. The medical staff told me that I would need surgery if I wanted to regain normal function in my right arm, which initially came as a shock; however, I agreed to the procedure.
Doctor Mark J. Waggenspack at the Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic performed my ac reconstruction surgery with allograft, a form of tissue reconstruction that requires donor tissue in order to repair damaged ligaments in the shoulder. I have since made a full recovery from the accident and subsequent surgery, and that would not have been the case without a donor who provided valuable life-enhancing tissue when he or she passed away.
Today I am able to work hard and live a healthy, active lifestyle because of the kindness of a person whom I will never meet. Tissue and eye donation from one person can enhance the lives of more than 50 people, and my experience is just one example of the impact every single organ and tissue donor can make.
For more information about tissue donation we recommend listening to episode number 4 in the archives of The Gifted Life Podcast.
Written by Emma Troth - LSU Graduate - Manship School of Mass Communications