What is the cornea?
Clear tissue covering the front of the eye. It is the main focusing element of the eye accounting for 66% of the overall focusing power. Vision is dramatically reduced if the cornea is affected by disease, injury, or infection. The cornea is avascular which means it lacks blood vessels. This trait is why corneas are treated differently than other donated tissues in regard to blood typing and cancer screening.
What is a corneal transplant?
A surgical procedure that replaces a disc-shaped segment of an impaired cornea with a similarly shaped piece of a healthy donor cornea. This segment can vary in thickness depending upon the surgery type, the surgeon specifications, and which layers of the cornea need transplanted.
Common Eye Diseases
According to the Mayo Clinic, Fuchs' dystrophy causes the clear layer (cornea) on the front of your eye to swell. The disorder can lead to glare, cloudy vision, and eye discomfort.
Some medications and self-care steps may help relieve your Fuchs' dystrophy signs and symptoms. But when the disorder is advanced and you've lost vision, the only way to restore vision is with cornea transplant surgery.
(Source Mayo Clinic)
The Gift of Sight
We are often touched by the notes of thanks that we receive for the gift of sight. The gift given by the donor family in the midst of pain truly blesses the recipient and creates a legacy for the donor and the donor family.
The gift of sight touches and improves every part of their lives; from seeing their children or grandchildren clearly for the first time in years, to the awe of seeing the beautiful world again, to regaining independence with the ability to drive, and not feeling like a burden to those closest to them. Every recipient we communicate with agrees that not a day goes by where they don’t think of their donor and feel gratitude for the gift of sight.
Dear Donor Family,
It is with much sadness and joy that I write this note to you. The joy is that your most generous gift will enable me to have much better vision after 50 years of struggle.
The sadness is obvious. My joy is at an unbelievable cost to you. I cannot even comprehend the anguish and heartache that you are experiencing. Please know that your family will be in my thoughts on a daily basis when I am able to see the leaves on the trees, the petals on the flowers and the funny expressions on my grand children’s faces.
I am truly indebted to you.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU
the medical community,
and recipients in
the gift of sight.
Providing sight to our community and across the globe.
A Short History
The first successful cornea transplant was in 1905 by an Austrian ophthalmologist Eduard Konrad Zirm, MD. Since then cornea tissue has been utilized to give sight to over a million people. Get a more complete history from the EBAA .
Lions & Eye Banking
In 1925, Helen Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then the lions have made it their mission to fight preventable blindness. Lions work in their communities and across the globe to give the gift of sight. One of the ways lions have fought the battle against blindness has been by founding and supporting Lions Eye Banks both nationally and internationally to ensure communities have a place to recover, process, and distribute corneal tissue for sight saving surgeries.
Thanks to the advancements made by ophthalmologists over the last 100+ years and the dedication of Lions, we are proud to be a cutting edge corneal tissue bank who provides high quality and expertly prepared corneal tissue.