Cornea transplant

Don Short, 80, from East Sussex, couldn't read a book or newspaper and was unable to watch TV until he had a cornea graft.

Don Short, 80, from East Sussex, couldn't read a book or newspaper and was unable to watch TV until he had a cornea graft.

"I was conscious that my eyesight was deteriorating. About five years ago I stopped driving at night," says Don.

Despite a cataract operation, his eyesight continued to get worse. "I couldn't read or watch TV. I could hardly recognise anyone in the street. It was a miserable time. I went to do my Christmas shopping but it was a waste of time. I couldn't see things in the shop windows and I couldn't read the price tags."

Eventually Don had a cornea graft at East Grinstead's Queen Victoria Hospital. "When the stitches came out, it was an absolute miracle. I could read and watch TV. It's difficult to explain what a difference it made to my life because I've always enjoyed reading. It was tremendous."

Don has since had a cornea graft in the other eye, which he hopes will further improve his sight. "I cannot thank the donors and their relatives enough. Their gift has given me back my sight and transformed my life.

"I'm told that many people are reluctant to allow their eyes to be used for transplantation after their death. If only they realised what a marvellous gift it is to give someone and how it can change people's lives."

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