After losing her vision in her left eye to a case of shingles 27 years ago, Kris of Kansas spent the majority of her adulthood compensating for her lost sight. As a busy nurse and mother of three, Kris had long refused to let her vision problems stand in her way, whether she was taking care of patients or sewing for her friends and family.
“You learn to turn your head the right way,” she explained. “I would avoid getting close up to things to be able to see or read. When it came to sewing or quilting, having the light
Although Kris felt blessed that only one eye was affected, she had long been ready to take the step toward clear vision. Finally, in 2010, a new eye surgeon suggested Kris finally undergo the cornea transplant other doctors had recommended against. That September, with tissue from a generous donor family, Dr. Andrew Moyes of Moyes Eye Center in Kansas City performed her long-awaited surgery.
Almost immediately, Kris began to regain much of the sight she had been missing for a quarter of a century. “I describe my left eye as it is waking up after all these years. Each day is better and better. My sewing, reading , all my craft work is getting easier daily. Even at my work, which is at the computer all day long, is getting better. I am getting ready to make a friend’s wedding dress, and I know nothing will cause me trouble.”
As a nurse, Kris has long believed in the power of eye and organ donation. But as a cornea transplant recipient, she now has first-hand experience of the difference the pledge to donate can make. For that reason, she encourages her fellow Kansas residents to consider joining the state’s new first-person donor registry at www.donatelifekansas.com.
“I am walking proof that there are wonderful loving people who have given the gift of their loved one so someone like me can continue to have a better life. I was lucky I only had one eye which I could not see out of, but what about the person who has been blind most or all of their live and unable to see the joys of their life? Many people will never experience the act of receiving an organ, but we all can give a wonderful gift to someone.”