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.
Laurie Wills of West Palm Beach, Fla. was having extreme pain in her neck, preventing her from carrying out daily tasks like holding a telephone and working on a computer.
“The pain involved my neck, shoulder and right arm and limited what I could do,” Laurie said. “My range of motion was limited and the pain and tingling in my right arm and hand did not allow me to hold onto anything for fear I would drop it.”
Laurie’s doctor recommended cervical spinal surgery, including a tissue implant and metal plate placed in her neck to fix the problem. “If I didn’t have surgery I was afraid I would lose my job because I could not work at a desk for any length of time,” Laurie said. “I was also anticipating grandchildren, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hold them and enjoy them.”
Laurie said that prior to her transplant, she feared that foreign material in her neck would be rejected or cause additional issues. But after learning more, Laurie is now a great advocate of organ and tissue donation. “It is definitely a personal decision but I am all for it,” she said. “I believe you should use materials that closely match what God has already given us when at all possible.”
Since the surgery and recovery, Laurie said she feels great and feels that her life has been given back to her. “Now I am able to continue at my job which requires extensive computer and phone time.”
But most importantly, Laurie said her transplant has given her the freedom to enjoy her first grandchild. “What a blessing to be able to hold my grandson with no pain and no fear of dropping him. I can’t imagine not being given that opportunity. He is my joy and I plan on holding him and hugging him for a very long time.”