Stories of Hope
Robert, cornea recipient
Family had always come first for Robert. As a stay-at-home-dad, Robert was committed to raising his three young children and doing everything possible to give them the best start in life. He was there to help with their homework, to take them to and from extracurricular activities, and to read them bedtime stories each night. When he began experiencing blurred vision in his left eye that neither eyeglasses nor contact lenses could correct, Robert suddenly found himself unable to participate in the role of fatherhood the way he wanted to and the way his family needed.
Robert was diagnosed with keratoconus, a genetic eye disease that causes a thinning of the cornea and visual distortion. To make matters worse, his right eye also began deteriorating because it was overcompensating for the loss of vision in the left. Robert eventually lost all sight in his left eye and had no peripheral vision. He could no longer drive, and he couldn’t fully participate in family events. He couldn’t even admire the art projects that his children would bring home from school. It was soon apparent that a corneal transplant from a donor was the only hope for restoring Robert’s sight. He and his family were relieved to receive the news that the perfect match had been donated.
Today, with excellent vision, the old Robert is back. His independence has been restored, and his transplant experience has given him a fresh perspective on life. Robert is grateful to be able to drive his children to the ballpark to enjoy a game, and he treasures his time reading to them again. His restored sight made it possible for him to pursue a new career as a real estate agent and helped Robert to live up to his motto of “giving back” by actively volunteering to promote the importance of registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor. It also inspired him to try skydiving. For Robert, the sky is now truly the limit.
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