Wall Of Life - Paulette - Fifty Lives

Tissue Recipient

As an employee of Community Blood Center, I see the value of blood and tissue donation every day, and I'm thankful for the advancements and possibilities of the work that is done here presents to not only me, but to the world.

On May 18, 2009, I was walking through a doorway in my basement when my foot hit a box and I lost my balance falling to the ground. It seemed like it was happening in slow motion. Once I landed in pain, I tried to pick myself up off the ground. As I headed back upstairs to diagnose the impact of my fall, I began to feel severe pain in my arm. I told my husband that I thought my arm was broken, and he tried to contact our physician so that my arm could be treated.

After being rushed to the hospital, I learned that I had crushed my humerus. My surgery was delayed due to the fact that I was on blood thinners, and the surgeon didn't want to operate for fear I may lose too much blood, or the possibility that my blood may not clot.

On May 20th, I had surgery, and my humerus bone was replaced with donated tissue grafts - a fibula segment and crushed bone filler. Also, I received four pints of fresh frozen plasma. This tissue along with a plate and fourteen screws has restored some, but not all of the movement in my shoulder region.

Through my surgical process I also discovered that I had osteoporosis, which probably contributed to the extensive damage I had endured. Three months later, I learned that I would eventually need to have a complete shoulder replacement.

I feel extremely lucky to have received donated tissue grafts to reconstruct my arm. Since I have regained some movement in my shoulder, I am able to continue to work at CBC/CTS and contribute to the process of saving and enhancing lives.