My name is Brandon and I would like to share my story with you on how being a tissue recipient has impacted my life. In 2003, I started working at Community Tissue Services – Fort Worth as a customer service representative. My job was to help surgeons and patients get the tissue they needed for surgeries such as ACL repairs, hip surgeries, burn grafting, and many other types of surgeries that helped people walk, work, and live a full life. Seeing the impact that donation made every day for recipients and donor families, I became an avid supporter of donation.
Like most boys in Texas, football is a way of life. I played football my entire life and was given the opportunity to play college football for the University of Pennsylvania. During four years of playing Division I football, I never sustained any injuries.
While playing soccer in 2005, I came down on an opponent’s cleat and completely tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), one of the most important of four strong ligaments connecting the bones of the knee joint, damaged my lateral meniscus, a cartilage-like band that covers the lateral side of the interior of the knee, and tore a ton of cartilage. Needless to say, my knee was in disrepair. When I met with my surgeon, Dr. William Coleman, I told him without any hesitation that I wanted to use a donated ligament. As an employee of CTS, I knew of all the advantages using a donated ligament would bring me. When Dr. Coleman performed my surgery, I was given a “new” ligament.
One of the most important decisions I have ever made was to use a donated graft to repair my knee. Because of the tissue transplant, my knee is as “good as new”. Today, I am a football coach at North Side High School, and my coaching style revolves around being able to show my athletes how to play the game, getting on the sled and bags and being a “hands on” coach. I also have a three –year old son that loves to play, run, and do all the things a wild three-year old does. Without question, receiving my tissue transplant has allowed me to live my life the way I want!
I owe this all to the person that decided to donate the tissue of someone they loved. Soldiers, firemen, police officers, and so many others that come into harms way benefit from the tissue, skin, and bone donated by the families of those that have passed. The decision to “give” can be life saving to some, and can allow others to continue their way of life. This also keeps the memory and spirit of the donor alive.
I am a supporter of donation and plan to become a donor. My family is aware of my decision to “give”. We can’t all be heroes, but we can all help each other by giving the gift of life, the gift of giving someone’s life a second chance, and the gift of helping a family that has lost a loved one carry on their memory.
1 year ago