Glenda, the mother of 5, sent a “Thank You” letter to the mother of her 17 year-old cornea donor. She wrote that she now has six children. “Five who are still with me and one who helps me see the world with his enthusiasm and joy.”

My donor, I did not know you but I wish I did. I wish I knew your name. I have been talking to you, imagining you and thanking you every day since the operation. I also think of your family; their loss must be devastating. Sometimes I can almost feel their grief, perhaps it is because we are now connected. I can only hope that my gratitude for your very special gift to me brings them some solace. And know from now on, every image I see, every image I record, will share a part of your vision in it. We blink together now, across the divide.

A grateful recipient

To my donor family,

I am extremely sorry that you lost a loved one. When my doctor informed me that I needed a cornea transplant, he said that the cornea would come from someone who donated their eyes.
I was sad at first to know my vision would come from someone who lost their life but I was comforted to know that there are good people in this world that are kind-hearted. My donor did not have to say “yes” to donation but I bet he/she did because they must have been a very kind person. I am honored to have been given such a wonderful gift from him/her.

Because I had my transplant, I am able to play with my children without supervision. My wife and I have 4 month old twins and they are a handful! I have been able to go back to work and help her with our girls.

Thank you from my wife, our children and myself. We are so thankful for our donor. Thank you so very much!

Your recipient family

My friend,

I am the mother of a sweet four year old boy who has had two corneal transplants. One cornea came from you. I think of you every day. My son’s first corneal transplant happened when he was two years old but unfortunately did not heal well. His doctor has said that this cornea was beautiful and has a very high percentage rate of success.

My son likes to play outside but we watch him carefully. He also loves to play with his sister and brother. My husband will be returning from his service in November and has not seen our son since the surgery. He will see a different child. He is much more happy now. My son does not know how lucky he is that your family agreed to donate. He will. I will tell him over and over again about his donor. We are very grateful for the first donor and are very grateful for you.

Because of your generosity, my son and our family live a normal life. The ophthalmologist stated that my son may never need another transplant and that he is very fortunate because pediatric corneas are very hard to locate. That makes me believe that the donor was a child like my son. I can’t imagine loosing a child or any member of my family and then turn around and help someone you don’t even know. I can’t thank you enough. I will always let my son know how much of a hero his donor family is to us.

All of our gratitude

To whom it may concern:

I am the cornea recipient who wants to thank you for your decision to donate. Words can never describe how grateful I am for your gift. You are in my prayers.

A recipient