My name is Terri Flamm, and I am a tissue recipient. As a Physical Education teacher at New Richmond High School (also my alma mater) and as a lifelong athlete, my mobility is everything to me. I was a three sport athlete in high school, playing soccer, basketball and track. I even went on to play fast pitch softball in college. Sports were such a positive influence on my life. Now I have the opportunity to share that in my work with kids.
In February 2015, while on an Educators Workshop with the US Marines in Parris Island, I was performing obstacles when it happened. I tore my ACL. Two critical aspects of my life were about to be drastically altered. How would I be able to coach and teach my own children, as well as my students? For me, the most important aspect of this recovery was my career because it allows me to provide for my family. If I can’t provide for them physically or financially, it changes everything.
When I met with my surgeon I learned that receiving a ligament from a donor would not only make my knee stronger and allow me to recover quicker, but it would also put less physical stress on my own body. As an added benefit, I already knew so much about the process from having LifeCenter in my classroom twice a year to speak to my students.
If I could say one thing to my donor’s family, it would be to never think that because their loved one’s donation wasn’t a heart or lung that it is any less important. My life as I knew it would have ended if my ACL were not repaired. This gift has not only made my life better, but the lives of those around me from my kids, my husband, my parents, to my students and athletes, all benefit from my improved mobility. Although not a heart, lung, kidney or other organ, the gift they gave will continue to touch my life and the lives of many others for many years!