During the summer of 2021, Ann was going about her day, completing chores around the house, when she bent down and her knee dislocated to the back of her leg. When she straightened her leg, her knee popped back into place, but she knew something was wrong. “Nothing I’ve been through has ever hurt as bad as that,” she says.
At the emergency room, doctors took X-rays; however, because the knee had popped back into place, they told Ann it was just a case of mild displacement, and she should rest until the swelling went down and she could start physical therapy.
But two weeks later, Ann still couldn’t bear weight on her knee and doctors performed another scan. They discovered that the cartilage in her knee was completely torn apart and her tendon was destroyed. She would need surgery and a tissue transplant to fix her knee. “I was in shock; I just thought I needed physical therapy or a brace,” she says.
Surgeons conducted a left knee open medial, during which they reconstructed Ann’s femoral ligament and gave her a tendon transplant. A couple of weeks after surgery, Ann started physical therapy to regain her range of motion. “It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, to push myself,” she says. “I was really worried that it would slip again doing my usual activities; I was just standing when it displaced the first time and I fell.”
Ann completed physical therapy just before Christmas 2021 and is doing well today. She has a renewed compassion and appreciation for people with mobility issues and does what she can to help when she sees others struggling. Most of all, she’s grateful to her generous tissue donor and their family for giving her her life back. “Without that transplant, I would’ve been in a wheelchair the rest of my life,” she says. “It’s a really big deal. My life would’ve been changed forever.”
Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list.
Approximately 113,000 men, women, and children are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. One organ donor has the power to save up to eight lives and change the outcomes of someone’s world forever by giving them a second chance. Additionally, tissue donation can save and improve the lives of up to 75 people with their gifts. You can make a huge impact by registering as an organ and tissue donor.