As a gifted piano player, Elizabeth often entertained seniors at a senior housing facility in Neosho, Mo. But as her eyesight began to fail, she faced difficulties playing all the requests. “I would play by ear many of the songs the residents wanted me to play, but if I picked up a music book or hymnal, the notes were too blurry to see.”
According to her eye surgeon, Elizabeth had simply outlived her corneas. For this active 75-year-old, the diagnosis was upsetting. In addition to affecting her piano playing, Elizabeth’s vision loss forced her to give up driving and her artwork as well as inhibited her ability to type and read.
Elizabeth finally underwent a corneal transplant on her left eye in summer 2010, which required donated corneal tissue. Although the cornea detached the day after her initial surgery and required an additional operation soon after, Elizabeth’s recovery was incredibly smooth. More important, it restored her lost vision.
Today, according to Elizabeth, her eye sight is better than it was even when she was young. Her left eye is 20/30, and she can read most print without wearing reading glasses. “My cloudy vision had slowly shrunk my world as I aged, but now my vision is so clear that I can once again read music, draw, sew, write and drive!”
Elizabeth chose to write to her donor family though Saving Sight’s correspondence department to thank them for their generous gift. “I wrote because I was so grateful. I thought that was really great they donated their loved one’s cornea to help someone else. It was very caring of them to do that, and I appreciate it so much.”
Not only is Elizabeth pleased with her restored sight, but so are the seniors who once again are able to enjoy her musical talent.