At a mere four-years-old, Katy was deemed strong and old enough for open-heart surgery. It was then that she received a pulmonary artery.
Dresden needed a strong, healthy body to sustain her busy life. Thanks to a tissue donor, now she has two strong knees to stand on.
As the CEO of Sustainable Environmental Services Corporation and a PhD candidate at Portland State University, Dresden Skees-Gregory has a busy life. With a job that requires a lot of walking and travel, she doesn’t have time to slow down for pain. When Dresden tore both of her anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs) only one month apart, it put her livelihood in danger. She had not been doing strenuous activity during her injuries, and so Dresden’s doctors suspected that she might have a genetic weakness of her ACLs. She knew that her injury and pain would only get worse and that it might eventually require her to use a wheelchair. With the input of her doctors, she decided that a tissue transplant was the best choice.
Because tissue donors have fewer restrictions than organ donors and can often donate even when a donor is older or has more complex health conditions, there is a more plentiful supply of donated tissues than organs. For Dresden, this meant that she did not have a long wait for the ACL tissues she needed. In 2013, she had two ACL replacements that were provided by generous tissue donors.
Dresden’s ACL transplants were more than a relief for her. Afterwards, she was able to return to her normal, active life. Today, thanks to her donor’s gifts, she can walk, work, and travel without pain or limitations.
To those considering organ, eye, and tissue donation, Dresden has this to say: “You can really change a life, even if your donation is relatively small, simple, or after a long life.”