Thank you for helping us keep hope in sight

How COVID-19 is impacting Eversight’s mission

By David Bosch, President/CEO

May 4, 2020 — Since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on corneal transplants were announced, we have worked to keep our many valued partners – surgeons and researchers, eye banking and Lions partners, and advocates – apprised of how the crisis has impacted our operations and ability to meet our mission.

We’ve been incredibly inspired by everyone’s encouraging messages and support as we confront the pandemic’s impact on Eversight and the patients we serve awaiting sight restoration. As we’ve shared before, recovering, preparing and providing corneal tissue for U.S. transplants accounts for 94% of our operating revenue. With the restriction on elective surgeries including most corneal transplants, that means we are operating indefinitely on less than 5% of our expected revenue.

{ Visit eversightvision.org/covid-19 for ongoing updates }

The situation remains urgent, but there’s some good news. Eversight received a Paycheck Protection Program loan. With this loan, our hiring and spending freeze, and the ongoing generosity of contributors to our effort to Keep Hope in Sight, we are confident that we can continue operations uninterrupted through September. By then, we are hopeful that corneal transplants will have resumed.

We’re cautiously optimistic. Many states have announced plans to ease business and stay-at-home restrictions in May and June, and some hospitals are beginning to project manageable COVID-19 patient caseloads that will enable them to resume elective surgeries, including non-emergency corneal transplants.

Make no mistake: It will be a slow progression over many months as hospitals and surgery centers implement new protective protocols, evaluate patients and prioritize transplants by severity of need and their COVID-19 risk. Some cornea transplant candidates will continue waiting for surgery based on hospital capacity and their risk of COVID-19 exposure, especially those in vulnerable populations such as older patients.

Before the pandemic, Eversight provided an average 162 cornea placements each week. We are now providing for about 20 surgeries a week, generally for urgent ophthalmic needs as described by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

We’ll keep you posted on future progress. Until then, we’re taking care of our staff, managing recoveries and providing for emergency transplants under stringent safety protocols—and thanking all of you for the support we’re receiving throughout this crisis.

I’ll leave you with a few words from one of our gracious supporters who included this message with a generous gift in response to our appeal.

“I’m a recipient of a beautiful corneal transplant. Every day, I thank God and thank you. Because of your hard work and dedication, I received a second chance to see again. My prayers and gratitude are always with you for all your hard work, and mostly to all whose loved ones donated their most precious gift. God bless each and every one of you.” Anna Maria Ricciardi

It’s messages like this that inspire me. I am confident we’ll see this through and continue helping thousands of people see once again.

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About the author

David Bosch, President/CEO

David Bosch oversees strategic direction, management and operations across Eversight working to restore sight and prevent blindness in the United States and abroad. An active leader in donation and transplantation for more than 25 years, he serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Eye Banking, the Advisory Board for the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation, and as an expert panelist for the Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Transplantation. Bosch is a member of Donate Life Illinois and the Michigan Coalition on Donation, Positive Organizations Consortium at the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor (Host) Lions Club.

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COVID-19

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