KATRIN, RECIPIENT OF ACHILLES TENDON ALLOGRAFT
Katrin describes her injury as affecting her life in every way. The normally active athlete was playing soccer when her ACL partially tore. Not realizing the extent of the injury, Katrin continued to play sports despite the increasing pain.
“During my first surgery, a huge piece of my medial meniscus was removed and it turned out that my ACL was completely torn. Ten months later I had to have my ACL replaced in order to prevent further injuries to my knee,” said Katrin. It was before her second surgery when Katrin realized an achilles tendon from a deceased donor would be saving her knee.
Describing herself as “flushed with drugs,” the impact of what the doctor told her didn’t settle in until later. While recovering, Katrin was focused on healing to the best of her ability. Though she describes the process as painful, this period also gave her time to reflect on her choice of using donated tissue. “I was thinking about this a lot when I made my decision to choose a tissue transplant from a deceased donor.
“I feel grateful that tissue transplants are available and that there are people who make the decision to become a donor,” Katrin said. Three weeks after surgery, Katrin began walking without crutches. Nine weeks after that, she was able to run again. “I feel very blessed to be able to continue my active lifestyle.
There is not one day when I exercise that I am not grateful for being able to do the things that my heart desires to do such as running in the morning and snowboarding on the weekends,” said Katrin. Because of the gift she received, Katrin is now an advocate for organ and tissue donaton.
“I am a registered donor and always strongly believed that this was how I could enhance and save many people’s lives when I am no longer here,” said Katrin. Though Katrin does not know the family of her donor, she often thinks of them and hopes they know what a tremendous gift they gave her.
“I know thank you is not nearly enough to show how grateful I am for their decision to donate. I want them to know that there is not one day when I start running in the morning that I do not think about how grateful I am to be able to live life to the fullest. So again, thank you.”