Anita's Story

Anita smiles in a restaurant booth.Not long ago, diminishing sight threatened to take away Anita’s ability to read and see well enough to sew her quilts. An active and proud grandmother, she and her husband recently retired to Columbia to be closer to their children and grandchildren. “We are loving being close enough to be part of their lives as they are growing up,” says Anita. Though they now live in mid-Missouri, Anita is a proud Vermonter through and through and they enjoy going back to visit every summer.

Anita’s journey with sight started with a cataract operation that did not have the outcome of clearing her vision. Since the cataract surgery, she has had 3 corneal transplants in hopes of restoring her vision in her right eye. “My eye appears to have been damaged by a few bouts of Bell’s Palsy,” says Anita. “My eye wouldn’t blink and during that time most likely caused damage to my eye as it wasn’t closing properly. The eye wasn’t shutting and it might have dried out the bottom of the first transplant.”

Anita’s most recent corneal transplant is working well so far. “With this one they have closed my eye a little bit from the corner to help keep it a tight close so my eye won’t get dried out at night.” Anita has seen progress and her vision keeps getting better and better.

“Following my first surgery, I’ve had Dr. Fraunfelder. He’s been great and I’ve enjoyed working with him,” says Anita. Dr. Frederick Fraunfelder is the director of University of Missouri Health Care’s Mason Eye Institute and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the MU School of Medicine.

Sending Thanks through Correspondence

Anita chose to write a letter to her donor family through Saving Sight’s Correspondence Program. “If someone in my family became an eye or organ donor I would be most appreciative to get a note from the recipient,” says Anita. “This generous decision that their loved one made resulted in my receiving a whole cornea transplant in a procedure aimed at restoring vision in my right eye. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. This generosity will never be forgotten.”

 

Anita is grateful to her donor family and is a registered organ, eye and tissue donor herself.

You can save and enhance lives when you join the national registry at registerme.org.