Amaya Deye – Tissue Recipient

In the beginning, I felt like my knee would dislocate or be out of place for hours or even days before it felt semi normal again. There were days when I could barely put any weight on my leg without excruciating pain. There were x-rays, MRIs and visits to different orthopedic doctors. I was told that the muscles and ligaments around my knee were weak. Physical therapy was recommended for strengthening; however, there was no improvement.

We received a recommendation for another orthopedic surgeon who immediately recognized this as EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) which is a group of inherited connective tissue disorders which causes overly flexible joints. My own tissue, ligaments and tendons are too loose and could no longer keep my kneecap in place. He recommended surgical intervention. In order for the surgery to be successful, a donated ligament was the only option because my own ligaments were not strong enough.

On February 21, 2019, my life was forever changed. Someone I will never meet gave me the gift of walking without pain. Since surgery, I have been able to walk across the stage at my high school graduation. I went on a once in a lifetime trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with my high school peers. I am now able to play outside with my younger siblings and I can kick the soccer ball around with my brother. I am so grateful for my donor and the opportunity to be a normal teenager living pain free.

More Stories