Jake - rib cartilage recipient, NSW
When you think of life-changing surgery… ‘rib cartilage’ might not be the first thing that springs to mind, but for Jake, it meant he could avoid painful abdomen surgery that was going to be required to fix a nose injury.
Jake was injured during a rugby match in 2012. He initially had surgery to realign the cartilage in his nose and remove a blood clot. However, he experienced ongoing issues breathing out of his nose and ended up needing more corrective surgery in 2019.
“I had trouble breathing through my nose for years,” Jake said. “It would become blocked almost every day and I also breathed rather heavily when I slept.”
When meeting with his surgeon, Dr Lotz, pre his 2019 surgery, Jake was expecting to also need abdomen surgery to retrieve cartilage to properly repair his nose. But on arriving in Dr Lotz’s office he was relieved to find out that donor rib cartilage had been matched, meaning he no longer required abdomen surgery and his surgical recovery would be greatly improved.
Thanks to a donor Jake is now able to breathe more easily.
“Although my breathing is still not perfect, it’s a significant improvement from my situation pre-surgery,” he said. “I can now enjoy the fact that I have a better-looking and better functioning nose.
“I’m truly grateful to my donor and their family for their donation.”
Jake said registering as an organ and tissue donation is absolutely the right thing to do.
“Although my surgery wasn’t life-threatening, there are many people out there that need transplants for life-saving procedures.”