Restored Sight Allows Cornea Recipient to See Nature’s Beauty

Pam watching birds on her property with binoculars.Watching deer graze in the valley and geese land on her pond were just a few of the beautiful sights of nature Pam enjoys at her country home in Lebanon, Mo. Those sights mean more to Pam now than ever before after the hereditary eye disease Fuch’s dystrophy threatened to take her vision away.

“My vision kept getting dimmer and dimmer and glasses just didn’t fix it,” said Pam. “We realized through several tests that it was Fuch’s dystrophy.” As her vision deteriorated, Pam no longer felt safe driving her car because she couldn’t see road signs on the side of the road and was missing important details as she drove. She struggled with daily tasks, began missing out on some her favorite hobbies and even stayed home from family outings because she couldn’t see.

Ducks swimming on the pond at Pam's home.In July of 2016, Pam received a successful cornea transplant at Mattax Neu Prater Surgery Center in Springfield thanks to the generosity of an eye donor. Pam chose to write to her donor family to thank them for their kindness. “Families have felt such a loss but they have helped other people,” said Pam. “I knew they had suffered a loss and just wanted them to know we appreciated the gift. It’s not just that the donor gave but the family accepted and followed through with their wishes.”

Today, Pam has regained her active lifestyle exploring the outdoors and gardening. She and her husband are avid birdwatchers and she is able to see the fine details in feathers and coloring she was missing before her transplant. Pam has regained her independence, driving with confidence again and seeing details when grocery shopping, watching television, reading menus in restaurants and even beading her holiday Christmas balls. More than anything, Pam is able to watch her 6 grandchildren play soccer and their other activities and see the world as they see it.

“As my vision becomes clearer and clearer I realize that I had forgotten how bright and colorful our world is and I appreciate and love every second of it,” said Pam.