Cuatro’s busy, outdoor lifestyle came to an abrupt halt after an unfortunate skiing accident. While enjoying a ski day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, he broke his leg on the second run of the day. Doctors placed a rod in his leg to help correct his broken tibia, but it was only the beginning of his health challenges.
“This break of my tibia resulted in a non-union, which basically meant it refused to heal on its own. When your mobility is limited, it changes your life dramatically,” said Cuatro.
Six months after his initial surgery, Cuatro endured another procedure to replace the rod in his leg. This surgery also required a bone graft from Cuatro’s hip, which he described as a very painful procedure. When that did not solve the problem, he became desperate. Cuatro found Dr. Ross Wilkins, who was confident he could help. Instead of a larger operation, Dr. Wilkins used an AlloSource bone graft provided by a deceased donor and Cuatro’s own stem cells. Following this procedure, Cuatro healed quickly.
When asked about receiving donated human tissue, Cuatro’s appreciation is clear.
“I feel blessed and have a huge appreciation for those who recognize how great the gift of tissue donation is for others who need it. I am a registered donor and hope that it may improve the lives of others who, like in my case, desperately need it.” After his recovery process, Cuatro was excited to “have both feet on the ground for the first time in over a year – a blessing for sure!”
Cuatro has resumed his active lifestyle, returning to skiing and rock climbing. He owns a mobile bicycle repair shop, now helping others take advantage of the Colorado outdoors he too is able to enjoy. His experience provided not only gratitude for his mobility and the donor who helped him heal, but also a new outlook on life.