Voices of Donation
Donated tissue can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients and even save lives. This is thanks to the generous gift of life given by thousands of donors each year. We hope that these stories of how tissue donation and transplantation have touched the lives of others will inspire you.
Justin Fisher, 33, of Gainesville, Fla. is highly active in sports including flag football, softball and especially basketball, where he ruptured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) during a pickup game with friends.
“I needed a new ACL to help stabilize my knee so that I could return to the active, healthy lifestyle I have become accustomed to. I received a tissue transplant from RTI Biologics because allografts usually provide a quicker initial recovery which allowed me to return to work after only one week following surgery.”
Justin is an accounting manager at RTI and is very familiar with the life-enhancing benefits of human donated tissue.
“I could not participate in the many sports I love to play due to the fact that my knee was completely unstable, and these activities could cause further damage to other areas of the knee if it was to give out,” Justin said.
“I also travel every summer to Roatan, Honduras on a mission trip with my wife (who is a Veterinarian) and other veterinarian students from the University of Florida to provide a three-day clinic for poverty-stricken locals to bring their animals (and any strays they can round up) to. The clinic provides health care for these animals as well as clinical and surgical experience for the students. I assist in other areas of the clinic such as setting up and moving tables, restraining large animals, etc. that can put physical stress on the knees,” Justin said. “Getting this graft will allow me to continue attending this trip.”
Justin said that 2 ½ weeks post-operation he was already able to walk without crutches. “I am receiving physical therapy twice a week to regain the joint range of motion and strength in the muscles surrounding the knee,” Justin said. “However, once the graft heals and I am finished with therapy, which should take about six to nine months, I will be able to once again participate in my favorite activities with all my friends. I also will be able to go skiing again with my family during our winter vacations in the New England area and continue to scuba dive with my wife on vacations.”
“Since starting at RTI Biologics over three years ago, I have gained an incredible appreciation for tissue donation, even though I never thought I would ever actually need donated tissue,” Justin said. “It is such a wonderful gift by a donor family, especially because they have just suffered the loss of a loved one, and to make the decision to help others by donating their loved one’s body to better the health of others is one of the most selfless acts. To think of others, especially at one of the most emotionally difficult events in their lives, is an incredibly generous act.”
Justin and his wife are planning on expanding their family soon, and Justin said knowing he will have the ability to keep up with his future children’s youthful energy without having to worry about further damage to his knee is something he is incredibly grateful for.