How transplantation works
The miracle begins with the selfless generosity of a donor and their family who, in their time of grief, choose to say yes to donation in hopes of helping others.
Eversight is responsible for coordinating the eye tissue recovery process with healthcare staff and organ procurement organizations. Our staff travel to hospitals and other facilities to recover tissue and return it to our laboratory for evaluation. Once the donated tissue arrives at our lab, it is carefully evaluated to ensure it is safe for transplantation.
Thanks to advances in tissue-preservation methods, corneas can be transplanted up to 14 days after donation. In the United States there is no waiting list for a cornea transplant.
When a surgeon has a patient in need of a transplant, they contact Eversight to arrange for donated eye tissue to be sent to them for surgery. Eversight is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure tissue is always available for surgeons and patients like you.
What to expect
Prior to having cornea transplant surgery, many patients have questions about the procedure and what to expect following their transplant. Eversight recommends all questions and concerns be addressed directly with your ophthalmologist, as each person’s case is unique.
To begin learning on your own, the National Eye Institute has information about the cornea, how it can be affected by disease or injury and corneal transplantation. The section titled Talking to your Doctor may help you communicate your questions or concerns about your surgery to your physician.
The Mayo Clinic has additional information about the cornea and what to expect during your transplantation surgery here.
Writing to Your Donor Family
Many transplant recipients want to connect with the families of their donor to thank them for the gift of sight. We can help make that connection by coordinating communication between you and your donor family.
To protect the privacy of both parties, Eversight forwards letters and cards anonymously—unless both parties sign confidentiality waivers that allow us to share personal contact information.
Suggestions for writing
Any time is a good time to write. Whether it has been weeks or months since your transplant, donor families often appreciate hearing from those who have benefited from their loved one’s gift.
• Please sign only your first name. Do not use last names, street addresses, city names, phone numbers or names of hospitals and physicians
• Tell them something special or unique about yourself
• Write about your need for a transplant and how the experience affected your life
• Mention ways the donor’s gift has made a difference in your life
• Consider thanking your donor family
• Be sensitive regarding religious comments and views, as the donor family’s religion is unknown
• Occasionally, donor family members will send a note or card in response to your correspondence. Others may choose not to write you at this time. Don’t feel discouraged if you do not receive a response
Mailing your correspondence
Place your card or letter in an unsealed envelope. Include a separate note to Eversight, requesting your correspondence be mailed to your donor family. We will need your full name, phone number and date of surgery. Mail both pieces in one envelope to an Eversight location near you. View locations, including phone numbers in case you need to contact us, here.
We love our volunteers! The Eversight Ambassador program is a community of volunteers who celebrate the gift of sight and inspire others to embrace donation.
Learn how you can help make vision a reality.
Make a charitable contribution
Vision is freedom. Vision is independence. Your contribution helps us ensure no one is denied the chance to see and enjoy the beautiful richness of life. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to help us grow our impact and eliminate corneal blindness.
Make your gift now!