Meniscus Transplant Helps Provide New Beginning For Recipient

Lori’s love of softball began when she was young and endured through adulthood, where she continued to play until a devastating knee injury took her out of the game.

As she slid into home base, she felt a sharp pain in her right knee and immediately knew something was wrong. When Lori visited her doctor, she learned she had a torn meniscus. Her doctor performed surgery to repair her meniscus, but she re-injured it shortly after the procedure.

“This injury altered my life as I knew it,” she said. “I was a very active person, I enjoyed sports, hiking, camping and traveling. I learned the hard way how one injury can drastically alter your world and health.”

Over the next three years, she endured three more repair surgeries and countless hours of rehabilitation. In August of 2015, Lori and her doctor decided to move forward with a meniscus transplant from AlloSource.

Because meniscus tissue is transplanted from a deceased donor and needs to be matched for size, Lori’s doctor placed her on a waitlist for the transplant.

Her doctor prepared Lori to wait several weeks or even months to receive a meniscus match. To her surprise, she received the call within two weeks.

“My initial reaction was shock, followed by fear, and then sadness,” Lori explained. “The reason I was getting this call was because someone passed away. My heart broke for the family.”

Though her donor’s life ended, their decision to donate tissue created a new beginning for Lori.

“I know my transplant was different than a heart, liver or lung, but to me this is as important as any of those,” she said. “I can honestly say without this transplant, I would not be up and walking. I wouldn’t be able to get out at all and watch my kids play soccer and run around the playground or even go to the store.”

As she progresses through her recovery, Lori is grateful for the donated tissue she received and wonders about her donor.

“I have such respect for my donor,” said Lori. “They were unselfish and saved or improved another’s life because they made the decision to be an organ and tissue donor.”