Something Impossible Becomes Possible
On a beautiful day in Houston, Texas, Vic Sarrafin drives into LifeGift’s corporate office. He walks into the front lobby and signs the visitor booklet. As he waits patiently, he looks out the lobby windows to see the stunning, blue, cloudless sky. He is able to see because a heroic donor gave him the gift of sight.
A few months ago, Vic was diagnosed with keratoconus eye disease. Keratoconus eye disease is a noninflammatory eye condition in which the normally round, dome-shaped cornea progressively thins, causing a conelike bulge to develop. This results in substantial visual impairment. Vic suffered from the worst of the symptoms.
“Only a corneal transplant would help,” said Vic. “It got to where I was virtually nonfunctioning on a visual level. I was in pain.”
A corneal transplant is a surgery to replace the cornea with tissue from a deceased donor. It is one of the most common transplants performed. According to Donate Life America, cornea donation is necessary for the preservation and restoration of sight.
“Donation is an awesome and amazing act of generosity,” proclaimed Vic. “I feel really grateful and humbled to receive such a gracious gift. I had tremendous improvement in my vision after my transplant.“
March is National Eye Donor Awareness Month. National Eye Donor Awareness promotes donation awareness and celebrates the lives of eye donors and corneal recipients. Vic and his donor are amongst the thousands who will be celebrated. When asked about the first thing he was excited to see after transplant, Vic answered with a glimmer in his eyes. “I was able to read musical notes. I hadn’t been able to do that in years,” he said.
For more information about corneal transplants, visit the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) at www.restoresight.org.