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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The new year is starting with a new lease on life for a Montgomery County woman, thanks to a tissue transplant.
Hugging her dog is no longer torture for 25-year-old Carrie Dailey. She was born with a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
“My tendons and ligaments are like silly puddy or laughy taffy, they just pull apart,” said Dailey.
She lived in constant pain and fear, her shoulders were especially vulnerable.
“If I was driving over a pothole or speed bump, my shoulder would be dislocated,” Dailey said.
When surgeries didn’t work her only option was a tissue transplant.
Similar to an organ transplant from a deceased donor, things like tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin and bone can also be transplanted.
“Were you shocked when you learned about it?” asks CBS3’s Stephanie Stahl.
“Absolutely, yes,” said Dailey.
Dailey, who lives in Hatboro, now works for a division of MTF Biologics, the world’s largest tissue bank.
Now, with transplanted tendons in her shoulders, Dailey is able to play guitar again and has her life back. She’s grateful to the unidentified donor’s family.
“You comprehend that someone was also grieving while you’re recovering which was tough,” says Dailey.
The genetic condition impacts her entire body and Dailey has to occasionally wear braces on her legs.
But with her shoulders now repaired, she’s planning to get back to school.
Her favorite thing to play is the song “Wish You Were Here,” a joy she has that she’s no longer wishing for a normal life.
One tissue donor can restore health to more than 75 other people and unlike organ donation, tissue transplants don’t have to be matched because rejection is not generally a concern.
There are more than 1 million tissue transplants performed every year.