Michael Wilson is a Senior Tissue Recovery Coordinator for LifeLink of Georgia. He is responsible for performing physical assessments of donors, drawing blood, determining donor eligibility and on rare occasions, comforting family members who would like to spend time with their loved ones prior to a tissue recovery.
He has worked in the field of tissue banking for the last 15 years and finds his work to be extremely rewarding. “I began working as a surgical technician in a hospital before becoming a first assistant at a private orthopedic practice,” says Wilson. “A friend informed me about an open position within LifeLink’s tissue bank and the rest is history.”
Michael has been blessed to see both sides of the donation process throughout his career. “I can recall receiving tissue grafts from LifeLink when I worked for orthopedic surgeons and now I understand firsthand where those grafts came from.”
The job of a tissue recovery coordinator is not glamorous. Countless hours are spent recovering life-enhancing grafts and their work is done in the shadows. It is not unheard of for Michael and his colleagues to work for 12 to 24 hours on any given night to recover tissue grafts from donors. “This work can be strenuous and tiring. It takes a lot of time to understand the recovery process in the beginning but in the end the job is very rewarding.”
As a Senior Tissue Recovery Coordinator it is Michael’s job to train and mentor new hires. “Training should be quick. If a new hire continues to struggle after six weeks I will bring them in my office to review paperwork, discuss the reasons they are struggling and provide encouragement.”
Michael is one of many unsung heroes throughout the country who work in the shadows to ensure others have a chance to live a better life through tissue transplantation. We honor Michael and his colleagues for their tireless efforts to honor the wishes of tissue donors by helping to enhance lives.