Wall Of Life - Brittany - Fifty Lives

Tissue Recipient

Brittany is walking well after her knee surgery.  The 19-year-old tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in a skiing accident in March.  She put off surgery for months, but she quickly recovered.

""During rehab, they were just amazed at how well I was doing and how fast I was progressing-we kept saying Dad was strong.  That's probably the reason why." says Brittany.

"Brittany's dad is also the reason there is so much more to the story than just a successful surgery. About two months after the active Oregon teen's accident on the slopes, another accident occurred which eventually took Mark's life.""We were on the four-wheeler together and he fell off and hit his head; complications from the fall led to his death," said Brittany.

"Diane, Brittany's mom says Mark was a very giving person and gave everything to donation services. "The donor service guy (from Community Tissue Services) called and asked if I had any questions.  I said actually yes, our daughter is going to be needing surgery, is there any chance she could get some of her dad's tissue?" said Diane.

"The answer was yes! And last fall, Brittany received a special gift from her father. In October, Dr. Kevin Shea fixed her knee and helped bring the family back together. "What her father donated was a large tendon in his body that allowed us to basically replace the torn rope from her injured ACL and put another rope in there," said Dr. Shea.

"As she heals, Brittany's family is thankful for her father-a Pastor, rancher, and donor who helped his own daughter. "I'm thankful for him, for his life. Just for his faithfulness and just all that he's shared with people who are left here," said Diane. Brittany added, "He'd pray every morning on his knees.  One lady said a really profound thing to me.  That when I got his ligament, I'll be praying on my daddy's' knees now and continuing on his legacy in that way."

"The family says they've received anonymous letters of thanks from others who Mark helped through being a tissue donor. And, as for Brittany, she says she hopes to someday become a nurse.

Update: March 2011 - Brittany is now a nurse!