Category Archives: Donor Stories

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Donor Stories: Two Daughters and a Husband

The following is a letter Southern Eye Bank received from a donor family:


Greetings,

Our family would like to acknowledge Southern Eye Bank for its honorable efforts in restoring eyesight throughout the state of Louisiana. We thank you for your outreach confirming transplantation of our loving mother’s/wife’s eyes and are reaching back out regarding this donation that she was the donor of. We pray all is well with the recipient, and are thrilled to know that our beloved donor was able to give the gift of sight to someone after she passed away.

Our mother/wife was such a kind and compassionate woman, always extending love and grace to others, and gifted our family with many blessings throughout her life. We are deeply grateful to know her gifts are still reaching others, allowing someone to see and enjoy the world.

It is because of her love for others that she was able to so freely and selflessly make a donation that could so positively impact another’s life. We would love the opportunity to be able to meet the person who received this blessing. The idea that a part of her lives on brings us such comfort – and we are hopeful of the chance to get to express our joy of that in-person.

We thank you for being open to our request, and please know that we respect the wishes of the recipient regarding an interest in meeting. We send well wishes for continued blessings to our mother’s recipient and that a rich life continues on in her name.

Respectfully,
Two Daughters and a Husband

Corneal Donor David Deblanc

Donor Stories: David Jr.

To the recipient of David Jr.’s eyes,

Our family is so happy that you have been given sight through my brother’s generous gift. As a family, we hope that his eyes last your whole life, allowing you to see the beauty of family, friends and nature, three things that were important to him.

Corneal Donor David Deblanc
Dad, Justin, and David

I, Denise, want to tell you a little about my brother. David was larger than life to family and friends, enjoying life to the fullest in many ways. He loved camping and had everything and more for camping! He and my dad, who is also a David (my dad passed a week after David), went camping many times over the years. He loved going to Mile High to pitch a tent and camp because the beauty of nature thrilled him. My nephew Justin, dad, and I went with him recently to the mountains for the Indian POW WOW in Cherokee (he and my father often went to this – it’s usually in July), and he knew everything and we had a great time. History was his favorite. He taught history and even participated in war reenactments up North. He had all the gear for this too! David would go almost every year until he got sick. David had a vast knowledge of history. If you started off with him, he could literally talk for hours and he would talk about what you would want to hear; eventually, he could go on until you had an overload. David also served in the army and was a police officer as well. He lived in Metairie, Louisiana.

Corneal Donor David Deblanc
David and his godchild

David’s love for life was infectious. He belonged to a fraternity. To this day, that frat house knows all about David (he was 49 when he passed). He’s a legend there; his brothers loved him dearly. Since we were waiting to bury him with our mom who passed 11 months before him, we decided to have a gathering to celebrate his life. The turnout was great – our house had so many people you had to say excuse me just to walk around!

The brothers came out as well as his friends, many of whom he did not see for years. I had one request for the celebration: stories had to be told about him. We discovered that David was the mastermind behind the numerous antics that went down. Oh my, they were funny stories! Quite a few guys were choked up and cried as they told their stories. My father was there and met many of his friends (he was in his bedroom). He was so pleased that there were so many that came out and that they loved his son.

David had three names that suited him just fine: Crazy Dave, Chief, and Mad Dawg. Mad Dawg was his name on the army games on the computer he played with many all over the world. Even they texted or called when he passed.

Corneal Donor David Deblanc
Mom, Dad, Lisa, and Denise

He truly was a great brother and friend. We miss him dearly and hold many fond memories. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know about our brother through this letter.

If you are willing, we would like to meet you and share stories and pictures with you.

Sincerely,

Denise, Lisa, Nicole, and Shawn (his sisters)

organ donor stories George corneal tissue

Donor Stories: George

organ donor stories George corneal tissueMy father George was able to donate his corneas to help others and I am so thankful. He was an extraordinary man! But, before I go into detail about him, I need to share with you why the donation was so important to my father as well as my family.

My mother was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder at the age of 17. The doctors told her that at the rate her disorder was progressing she would likely only live another five years. Two years after her first diagnosis, she met my father. He saw past her illness and was adamant to marry her, even as her health continued to decline and her doctor said there was just nothing left to do. In 1990, my mother decided to come to New Orleans and get a second opinion. This doctor suggested that a liver transplant would save her life. That same year in August, my mother was matched with a donor. After 24 hours of surgery, the liver failed and the kidneys followed. As a result, she then had to undergo a liver and kidney transplant and after six weeks in the hospital, she was on the road to recovery!

organ donor stories George corneal tissueFive years later, in 1995, I was born. I was featured in medical journals as the first live successful birth to a dual transplant recipient. Donation and transplantation meant so much to my father – not only did he get to keep his wife but their family grew with a daughter. Two amazing Gifts of Life made possible by donation and transplant.

My dad always felt so blessed and was a HUGE advocate for transplantation because he would have never had a family without it. Unfortunately, we lost my mom in 2014, leaving us both heartbroken. My parents were so full of love and kindness, that they never knew a stranger. My dad was one of the friendliest people you could meet. If he could help someone, whether a family member or stranger, he never hesitated to do so.

organ donor stories George corneal tissueMy dad was 58 years old when he died. I was never expecting to lose both of my parents before I was 24 years old. He was too young and had too much life left to live. He was born in New Orleans, attended Bonnabel High School, and moved to Hammond in 1980. He was the ultimate handyman. He had a trade in auto detailing and had a side job wiring electricity in homes for my grandpa who was a contractor. Then in 1990, he took a job as a maintenance repairman at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he worked for 28 years. He treated the students like his own children. I even received a letter from one of them after his passing to share a story about he would help out with the most bizarre things, like cracking a coconut for her! He surely did go above the call of duty for his students.

He was a diehard Atlanta Braves fan and had a tattoo and memorabilia to match. He also enjoyed watching the Saints. From March to September there was nothing but baseball in the house, and then football from September to March. He also loved working on cars and jamming out to classic rock. His favorite band was Led Zeppelin. He also loved to cook and have our family over on holidays, when he would cook big meals for all of us. He liked to stay busy. He was always on the go go go and is now having a well-deserved vacation.

Thank you for having my father live on though donation. He was a selfless giver and helper, he would want his recipients to also share the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.

George’s daughter, Gianna

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Donor Stories: Brooke’s Father

Brooke, a donor daughter, celebrates her father’s legacy by stating, “The comfort of knowing my dad is still around is such a wonderful thing… He is the biggest and best hero I’ve ever known. I couldn’t be more proud of him with his donation to Southern Eye Bank.”

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Donor Stories: A Mother’s Letter to a Recipient

I pray all is well with you. I am reaching out to you in regards to the recent donation of a cornea. My sweet two-year-old son was the donor. I am ever so thankful that he was able to give the gift of sight to someone after he passed on. Our hero was a very loving, playful, energetic little angel. He loved EVERYONE! He always wanted to lend a helping hand to anyone he could.