New Look on Life – Hazel’s Story
Having a second chance to see clearly has meant everything to me. I’ve regained my independence in my daily life, which was greatly compromised before the corneal transplants. My life has been enhanced with the receipt of the corneal transplants. My life is also a testament to what giving the gift of sight can do to enhance the lives of others.
My name is Hazel Myers, and I am a double cornea recipient. I had Fuchs’ Dystrophy, which is an eye disease I struggled with for many years with the tasks of everyday living. It was a challenge to see. Everything was cloudy and foggy. Sunlight caused instant blindness. I couldn’t see the simple things we take for granted – the colors of the leaves on the trees or the colors on the traffic signals. It was a challenge to clearly see the people I was talking to and perform work tasks.
Receiving my two corneal transplants from two strangers has changed my life completely. I’ve gone from not being able to function in daily tasks to being completely independent again. Currently, I am able to see so well; it seems as though I never had any issues at all. Before the corneal transplants, my family had to assist me in daily tasks outside of my home. I could no longer drive when the sunlight was out. They would drive me during the times I couldn’t. I traveled a lot, and someone would always need to be with me for assistance. They supported my decision to have the corneal transplants and was with me during each surgery and the recovery process.
I am thankful to GOD that despite our differences as human beings, God created us all with interchangeable body parts, which is evident by the receipt of my two corneal transplants. I am forever thankful for my two donor families. In the midst of their tragedies and grief, they looked beyond their circumstances and gave the miraculous gifts that have changed my life forever. Because of their gifts, I can report that I can truly “see clearly now.” I’m able to drive and feel confident that I can see the colors on the traffic signals. I can see the color of the leaves on the trees, the people I’m talking to, and I no longer see through clouds and fog.
I am grateful for the people and organizations that promote eye and organ donations and feel privileged to be able to help them promote this great work. I volunteer my time and service to assist these organizations when needed to promote the need for organ donations. Receipt of my corneal transplants and volunteering has allowed me to develop new relationships and other avenues to promote eye and organ donations. Daily, I interact with individuals informing them of the need to become registered donors and the impact that their decision can have on someone’s life. I also stress the need for these individuals to let their families know of their desire to be donors because it’s the families that make the ultimate decisions to carry out their wishes. I’m thankful and appreciative to the all donor families for the gifts that have changed the lives of so many people.
Becoming a registered donor should be an easy decision. Once life has ended, you no longer have use of your body organs. Donating those organs to another human to enhance or save a life should be a great feeling. Knowing that you were able to help someone’s life in your death also leaves a lasting legacy for your family and gives a miraculous gift to the recipient and his/her family. Give the gift of a lifetime and become a registered donor. Talk to your family and let them know you want to help change the lives of others by giving the gift of life.