US donor gives hope to Warragul teen

A donor from the USA has given a Warragul teenager renewed hope of a future playing sport and living pain free.
Resilience is the best description of 17-year-old Hannah Hobbs who has undergone 10 leg operations in four years.
Despite numerous setbacks to a chronic knee condition, Hannah has cheered on teammates from the sidelines and stepped into coaching roles whilst dreaming of resuming netball, basketball, swimming and horse riding with her friends.
Hannah was just 10 when she first saw a specialist after suffering knee pain. The condition worsened and Hannah, at 14-years-old, underwent surgery on both knees and realignment surgery on both legs.
The last four years have been filled with setbacks and further surgeries.
Exhausting all medical possibilities in Australia, Hannah’s mother Chris turned to the USA and a revolutionary bone transplant operation.
However, with Australia not having the facilities to collect, store and process the required bone graft, Chris embarked on an international fight for approval.
After seven months, and on the morning of Chris’ birthday, they learned a donor had been identified. The allograft surgery on her left knee took place in September.
“We shared very mixed emotions that morning; excitement and relief, yet an understanding of what this incredible gift from an unknown family just like ours on the other side of the world actually signifies,” recalled Chris.
Now Chris is hopeful the generosity of this USA family will inspire others in Australia to consider organ and tissue donation.
“The difference donors make in people’s lives is absolutely incredible,” said Chris. “We are but one family who has been given hope from a
beautiful donor family. We will never forget them and will be always grateful for their precious gift to us.”

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