Your Stories Inspire Us to Achieve More.

At Aziyo, we are inspired every day by the brave individuals undergoing invasive and often life saving procedures. We are honored to be a part of their story and recovery.

Our commitment is to continue working on the cutting edge of regenerative medicine to bring you new and innovative solutions that are closer to nature and help you recover.

A physician talking with a patient after surgery

Life Changing Patient Stories.

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Lori Wisniewski

Cardiac Surgery Patient (ProxiCor CTR)

In the spring of 2011, after years of experiencing an unusual sensation in my chest, I was diagnosed with an Atrial Septic Defect (ASD). Even though I was born with the condition, I didn’t experience symptoms like shortness of breath from running up a flight of stairs to answer the phone until later in life. I’ve been an avid, hard-core exerciser since I was 23 years old. However, I would joke about having to catch my breath after a relatively small effort more frequently. Normally, ASDs are repaired with an angioplasty. Upon further testing, it was discovered that the hole in my heart was too close to a valve, making me ineligible for a less invasive surgical procedure.

I was devastated when they informed me I would now require open-heart surgery. Fortunately, my team of surgeons and cardiologists determined that I was a good candidate for a robotic minimally invasive surgery procedure to implant the ProxiCor extracellular matrix to repair the hole in my heart. I was told ProxiCor was safe and would promote the growth of my own cells into the patch, regenerating new tissue, securing it in place for life. After having the team explain the robotic surgical procedure, I did not hesitate to go that route for a moment! For me it was a wonderful option. ProxiCor would be surgically placed over the hole using a small incision under my right arm. I was 57 when diagnosed and fortunately it was repaired without any permanent damage to my lungs.

Although the first 12 hours in the ICU post-op were a little rough, they were able to begin removing devices and lines and had me in a recovery room, in good condition, before long – and I experienced little discomfort. The next day I started walking and doing laps around the surgical floor. It was surprising how good I was feeling. My goal was to be discharged within 4-days. I was given an early release and went home a day ahead of schedule.

The surgery was performed July 11, 2011 and at the end of September I was able to complete a triathlon! About 6 months after the surgery, she had a routine transesophageal echo where it was difficult to discern a difference between the ProxiCor CTR bioscaffold and the adjacent heart tissue. No further tests have been required.

Because I just turned 65, a complete physical was performed. I was given clean bill of health and told to come back in a year. At 65, I’m not taking any medication. Since the surgery I have led a completely normal life as a wife, mother, and dialysis nurse. I participate in an annual triathlon every September. I have no limitations and never worry about my heart. I have the peace of mind that the surgery was successful and my health is not compromised in any way.

A woman sitting outside smiling with her dog

Anna Broadus

Bone Recipient

Bicycling 380 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles was not something Anna Broadus ever thought she would do. But for a good cause, she took on the challenge of training for the difficult feat and collecting donations to support the benefiting charitable organization.

“Little did I know, I would be the one receiving a donation that would change my life,” said Anna. On her last training ride she was in an accident. Knocked off her bike by a car while coasting downhill, Anna severely fractured her left foot.

“Decimated” was how the physician described the bones in her foot after the incident. Anna needed a series of five surgeries, two of which involved rebuilding her foot by fusing her bones with a donated bone graft. Anna wore a cast for 11 months and attended physical therapy for two months.

Although the pain from the surgeries was extraordinary, her recovery was helped along by an appreciation for the person who chose to donate the tissue for her bone graft. “I knew because of that person’s compassionate choice, I would be able to walk further, play more fetch with my dogs, and even get back on that bike and ride. I am able to do all the things I enjoy again because of a tissue transplant.”

A man in a suit smiling

Rudy Reyes

Skin Recipient

Rudy Reyes woke up to the flames of a wildfire encompassing his home and the home of his relatives next door. He knew there was no hope for the structures, but he quickly made sure his family members were in their vehicles and safely out of danger. When he reached his own car, the immense heat in the garage kept it from starting. Left with no other option, he ran to the nearest bathroom in his burning home, doused himself with water from the bathtub and braved the rising wall of flames to reach the outdoors.

Over 65% of Rudy’s body was burned. Treated by a team of surgeons, his prognosis was poor. Over the course of the next several months, he endured 18 surgeries to limit the effects of pain, fluid loss and infection. Much of his treatment involved the use of human allograft skin—the outermost layer of the skin from a donor—which was used as a temporary wound dressing because of its healing properties.

“I am so lucky to be alive,” said Rudy. “I was able to help others, and then others helped save me.” Since sustaining his injuries, Rudy has become a spokesperson for burn advocacy groups across the nation.

An image of a man smiling overlooking a city

Dan Wissinger

Ligament Recipient

Dan Wissinger was a junior in college when a game of pick-up basketball left him with a torn ACL ligament. Having injured the same ACL twice before, Dan’s best option for recovery was a transplanted ligament. His doctor performed a double-bundle surgery, a procedure requiring two donor ACLs.

“Despite having torn my ACL multiple times, I can still do the things I love because of the generosity of a donor,” said Dan. “Without it, my surgery wouldn’t have been possible. And for that, I will always be appreciative.”

Man in a yellow button down shirt smiling

Iphan Finley

Spine Allograft Recipient

Iphan Finley (known as just Finley to friends) captains a tugboat in Nassau, Bahamas. For several years, he struggled with numbness in his lower body and debilitating back and leg pain. He not only couldn’t lift or run far, he couldn’t do the physically demanding work needed for his job.

After seeing many doctors, Finley met Dr. John Nordt of the Spine Center of Miami, who agreed to perform a three-level spinal fusion using spinal allografts. Together with his team, Dr. Nordt helped Finley regain mobility, and soon enough he was back on the job.

“I am a walking example of what a tissue transplant can do. I had to have physical therapy for about six weeks, and returned to work shortly after,” said Finley. “I also am back to playing football, basketball, and boxing. It makes me feel wonderful. Thanks to a donor, I am back together 100%. Small or big, I can handle anything now.”

Do You Have a Story to Share?

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