As a mother of three small children, contracting glaucoma and nearly losing my sight was rather traumatic. It left us wondering how we would cope raising a family and being able to give them all that was necessary with limited or no vision.
With expert medical care including trips to the eye hospital, my sight was saved and although far from perfect, being able to raise a loving family and enjoy our wonderful grandchildren has been precious.
I suffered a severe infection of the right eye following surgery which was necessary to control the glaucoma. The infection could mean possible total loss of vision and potentially the eye itself.
My eye went from what initially felt like a minor irritation to oozing pus and severe pain within 24 hours. My surgeon commented when he first saw me that he may not be able to save the eye, let alone the sight.
But, due to the skill of my ophthalmologist and donated sclera (the white of the eye), I still have an eye and some sight.
I am ever so grateful for the care received and particularly to the family of the person who donated tissue enabling me to still have sight and quality of life. What a wonderful gift it has been to still be able to see the smiles on the grandchildren's faces, to appreciate lovely scenery, to be able to do housework and care for my favourite roses.
My husband and I are registered organ and tissue donors and our family are well aware of our wishes. We urge others to discuss organ and tissue donation and make a positive decision to help someone else in need.