In October of 2000 I began having terrible neck pain, numbness in my arm, and into my fingers. After an ER visit, and an MRI I was diagnosed with degenerative discs in my neck. One of the discs had deteriorated so much, that the bones were pressing on the nerves. I was then told that I would need surgery to fuse the bones with a bone graft. I had 2 options, I would either need to have bone removed from my hip in an additional surgery. Or I could opt to use the bone of a donor. At that time I was unaware that anything such as a bone bank even existed. But being self employed, I knew that any kind of hip surgery could keep me from my job as a hairstylist even longer. So I opted to use the bone of a donor, and felt so thankful that such an option was available to me.
When I awoke from surgery, I not only had 2 screws and a metal plate in my neck, I had the bone of some wonderful person who was generous enough to give me that gift.
Many times after surgery, I have thought about the person who donated the bone I recieved and what kind of person they might have been in life. Always thinking how lucky I am that someone who didn't even know me, gave me such an amazing gift.
After my surgery, I wore my green ribbon pin and bracelet, becoming a huge advocate of donation, not knowing at the time how it would eventually impact my life again.
Please read Jamie's story on here. It is about my son, and my experience as the mother of a donor.