Cindy suffered from spinal stenosis, a condition causing the open spaces in the spine to narrow, which can put pressure on the nerves. The condition can cause pain, numbness and muscle weakness. She already endured one spinal surgery, but it didn’t correct the issue.
“The spinal stenosis greatly affected my life,” she said. “I had to lay down most of the day, and still was in incredible pain, even though I was on pain medication. I had no quality of life.”
She was unable to work or do many things without help. Because the pain was so severe, she underwent a second spinal fusion procedure. During the surgery, her doctor used cancellous chips, a type of bone allograft that can be used in a variety of orthopedic procedures.
“The recovery following surgery was difficult, but it was all worth it in the end,” Cindy said. “I went from being unable to function to being able to do anything I want to do. I have no pain and no limitations.”
After her surgery and recovery, Cindy took time to reflect on what it meant to receive donated human tissue in the procedure.
“I feel incredibly blessed that a donor was available to help me in this way. I am sorry someone lost their life, of course, but I am very glad that the donor and the donor’s family were unselfish enough to donate.”
She also thought about what she would say to her donor, if she could.
“I would tell my donor how much they changed my quality of life for the better, and how I would never forget the sacrifice they made. My life has changed 180 degrees because of the transplant made available to me.”