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Muffy – bone marrow and corneal recipient, NSW

A photo of Muffy
It’s a beautiful gift to both give and receive

Muffy lived her whole life in pain until a life-changing bone marrow transplant when in her 60s, and she was also the recipient of a sight-saving corneal transplant when 70.

Diagnosed with scoliosis at age 11, Muffy said the constant pain became a part of her life.

“The curvature appeared when I was young, but I was extremely active with a love for dance – working professionally onstage well into my 30s.  Although constantly moving I was generally in pain, with cramped back muscles and migraines. It became a normal part of my life,” Muffy explains.

“However, when I reached my 60s gravity took hold and the curve reached the tipping point doctors had warned me about, my lumbar region reaching 82 degrees. My spine compressed quickly and normal movement became challenging and very painful. The solution was a spinal fusion T10 to Sacrum.”

Following the bone marrow transplant, Muffy went through months of rehab to learn to walk again. Although now lacking in flexibility, she has all the strength and comfortable movement she needs. No more cramping, few headaches and no pain walking.

Meanwhile, Muffy’s eyesight was deteriorating. Following a double cataract surgery, she was diagnosed with the genetic disorder Fuchs Dystrophy, a type of eye disease that affects the cornea.

“I first noticed that I couldn’t drive at night because the lights blinded me and I had no sense of depth perception. With time I noticed that the world was starting to look cloudy all the time and reading became difficult, even with glasses on. My eyes were drying closed at night and the cornea seemed to ‘tear’ if I opened them too quickly. By March this year reading regular print was impossible with or without glasses.”

She started to lose her vision at a fairly rapid pace and a cornea transplant became the only viable option to save her eyesight.

A registered organ and tissue donor herself, Muffy is hugely grateful to both her donors for giving her more time to spend with her two children. She feels that in some way her donors are alive and well in herself.

“It’s a beautiful gift to both give and receive,” she says.

Kathy Heagney
Graphic of native plants

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