Kelsi was 23 when doctors diagnosed her with adult idiopathic scoliosis and told her she’d eventually lose the ability to walk. Surgery was her only chance to lead a normal life and a tissue donor was her best chance at a successful surgery.
Her pain was already debilitating, but with a curve that was increasing a degree each year, Kelsi was expected to have severe breathing problems by age 30. When she went in for surgery in November of 2011, her back was at a 45 degree curve in both the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae.
Although the surgery came with no guarantees, Kelsi knew she had a good shot at an effective procedure and speedy recovery because of the gift she would receive from a donor.
“When I found out that I was going to receive cancellous bone grafts from a donor, I was so excited to know that someone had been kind enough to donate the gift of life,” she said. “I was familiar with what Donor Alliance did, their mission, and what a precious gift these families and donors choose to give in their darkest moments. It gave me hope that this would be a successful procedure and that the healing time would be reduced drastically since I did not have to heal from an autograft (bone taken from the hip crest) surgery, also.”
Kelsi’s surgery was indeed a success. Although she lost all mobility in her spine, the donor bone allows her to leads a normal and fulfilling life. Now an employee of Donor Alliance, she recently gave birth to her first child who she enjoys chasing around as a constant test of her physical abilities.
“Going through with the surgery was the best thing I could have ever done, and I even grew three inches after the procedure,” she shared. “I think it’s safe to say that if I didn’t receive donor bone, I would be living a completely different life.”