Imagine a world where you cannot clearly see your loved one’s face or expressions. Sadly, this is a reality for thousands who suffer from corneal blindness. For many, the last option for clear vision is undergoing a corneal transplant surgery, allowing them to see the world again through the generosity and legacy of an eye tissue donor.
JoAnn of western Kansas struggled with poor vision for many years. In high school she was diagnosed with keratoconus- a condition is which the cornea becomes thin and cone-shaped, seriously distorting vision. For years, her condition was treated with special contact lenses. However, in 2005 the keratoconus progressed to a point where only a corneal transplant surgery would restore her vision.
After consulting with her surgeon, that fall JoAnn received a transplant that changed her vision forever. Her immediate reaction post-transplant was forever memorable.
“Oh my goodness, I can see my husband!” she recounted.
In addition, she can now see her two children and five grandchildren clearly. The transplant has given her the independence and ability to enjoy many aspects of life that she couldn’t because of keratoconus. Today, JoAnn is an active volunteer with the Eye Bank and has spoken about her experience as a transplant recipient in support of donation.
“Everyone should donate,” said JoAnn. “They had a cornea for me- that’s such a blessing. I thank the dear Lord everyday.”