Special Gifts from Special Angels

A tribute from: Wendy Alley, Cornea Recipient

Angels on Earth

My first cornea transplant I was in my mid 40’s in 1999, I was at work and couldn’t see what I was working on, thinking I need an ink cartridge replacement I did just that, replaced the cartridge, went about my work, noticed I could still not see it well. Just ignored it. Then it was worse day by day, and I became very scared. I was born with a genetic eye disease, and knew one day it would rear its ugly head and now it was. I saw a specialist who confirmed my fears, and sent me to a cornea specialist. Within days I was in the OR for my first of 2 transplants. I asked about the donor and my doctor stated all he knew was a teenager who was 17 years of age and fell out of the back of a pickup truck and died. I cried because I lost a 4 year old child years prior and knew the anguish the parents felt, but yet still donated his corneas, I getting one of them. I told the doctor that this cornea is even more special to me, and I will protect it for the rest of my life and never stop thinking of that precious child. I sent on a letter to that family and I hope they received it and hope it helped in some small way.

I also got a 2nd transplant a year later in 2000, this one was from a 50 year old gentleman who is an angel to me. Unfortunately, this cornea was rejected about 9 years later, and 2 years ago I received a 3rd transplant from another cornea donor, but I was given no information on who it was. I suppose it’s because I had a different doctor by then, since my prior doctor stopped doing cornea transplants.

I just want everyone to know that all the donors whose corneas I see through, I think of every single day, thank them and carry them within my heart. I see colors more vividly, I never knew how many shades of green grass there was, I thought green was green, I was wrong. Because of my donors, I now can enjoy seeing my grandchildren grow up, to enjoy walking outside, to live my life fully. Thank you with all my heart and love to the families of my donors… because of this I am officially an organ donor myself.