Cassandra Perry was 30 and a single mom of two when the news came: She was going blind. Click here to sign up.
She had been experiencing a gradual loss of vision that she attributed to her extreme near sightedness. “I couldn’t see the details of things like blades of grass,” Cassandra said.
A new eye doctor diagnosed her with Fuch’s dystrophy, a degenerative disease that thickens the corneas (the eye’s lens) and causes pain, distorted vision and blindness. Cassandra, of Northville, was terrified she wouldn’t be able to provide for her eight-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.
Just one day after her diagnosis, she saw an ophthalmologist, who contacted the Michigan Eye-Bank, which is a partner of Gift of Life Michigan. The Eye-Bank fulfills the wishes of donors who want to give their corneas to help people receive a second chance for sight. Cassandra received two transplants over a 4 month period and one month after the surgery, began to see a whole new world. “The things I had been missing for years started to come into focus,” she said. “Like the freckles on my son’s face.”
The decisions of strangers, who wanted only to help others, saved Cassandra’s vision and helped her remain the sole provider for her family. She’s grateful to her donors and to those who helped make it all possible: “The Michigan Eye-Bank gave me hope and they gave me sight,” she said. “I can’t thank them enough.”
Go to http://www.michiganeyebank.org for more information about cornea donation.