Patrick Pruitt's sight was restored with a cornea transplant when he was just 6 years old. Today, Patrick is celebrating 30 years with the same cornea. In that time, he has shared his story with countless others, served on the Eversight Michigan Advisory Board and pursued a challenging career in academia.
Gerry Bouey wanted a job. As the third child of six in a blue-collar Detroit home, the 12-year-old figured he needed to find work, just like his older brother and sister had when they turned 12. There was one significant difference between Gerry and his siblings: he was legally blind.
Duaa Babekr was just 4 when she began experiencing vision problems. Realizing their daughter would have to struggle to do what came naturally to other kids was heartbreaking for her parents, but they tried to stay positive.
Born with congenital glaucoma, Lily Schlafauser has dealt with eye problems since birth. She underwent her first cornea transplant at just 15 months old. Inspired by their experience, she and her mother have become Eversight Ambassadors to spread the word about eye, organ and tissue donation.
Connor Walsh dreamt of a career in the criminal justice field. It was while working as an EMT that Connor felt the impact of saving someone’s life. Not long after signing up to be an eye, organ and tissue donor, he told his dad, “When I owe the future no more, it’s another way for me to pay it forward.”
When Jan Phillips lost her sight, she thought to herself, “What am I missing the most? What would I do if I could see again?” Thanks to eye donation and corneal transplantation, she traveled the world performing as a classical singer, dotes on her grandchildren and has campaigned for Eversight.
“Every donation is important—every single one,” says Patrice Fort, PhD, neuroscientist and Eversight research partner. “Getting more people to understand the importance of research can give hope to those who are struggling with their vision and need our help.”