Eye Donor Awareness Month: Lions Help Give Lisa the Gift of Sight
In the United States, about 40,000 corneal transplants take place each year, delivering the gift of sight. Helping to create these success stories are Lions Eye Banks. Lions support these eye banks, help promote organ and tissue donation and serve as transporters. Lions transporters deliver the tissue between the eye bank and hospital – forming a relay, when needed, to bring the tissue to its final destination.
During a video project at the Wisconsin Lions Eye Bank, we had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Johnson. Lisa is an unstoppable force. Her determination, attitude and success are inspiring. Blind since birth and diagnosed with glaucoma, Lisa had over 20 surgeries during her early childhood. It was when she was 21 that she learned of the possibility for a cornea transplant. “Up until that time I had no idea that there was even a surgery out there that would be able to restore sight for me at all,” shared Johnson.
Through the Wisconsin Lions Eye Bank, Lisa received a successful cornea transplant. “It was amazing. There are no words to describe what that was like to see for the first time. It was so overwhelming, because I had so much to learn. Like what colors were and what my family members looked like,” said Johnson.
“I wish I could meet every single Lion that there is out there and thank them personally for what they do for people like me. Every day I think to myself, I am who I am today, because of the Lions. Because of their work in promoting organ and tissue donation, I am able to see.”