Michelle Ramirez, Cornea Recipient Family Member
As Bereavement and Donor Family Support Coordinator for UT Health San Antonio Allograft Resources, I am honored to walk this delicate journey in grief alongside our donors’ families. My personal connection to donation allows me to see full circle what a beautiful impact the decision to register as a donor and/or the decision of families to carry out donation on behalf of their loved ones. My dearest and beloved Grandmother was a double cornea recipient. Her sight was threatened due to disease and donated corneas saved her sight. Although the photo provided is not the greatest quality, it is one of my favorite photos because it captures one of the many beautiful memories made possible through the gift of cornea donation made to my grandmother. Although grandma is no longer with us, her final years included many hospitalizations, lengthy periods of bed rest and inactivity and had cornea donation not saved her sight, her final days would have been even more painful. Even in her battle with illness, she could still smile at the beauty of flowers, the beauty of her children, grand and great-grandchildren, and enjoy seeing her favorite “novelas” and television programs. Tissue donation can sometimes be life-saving but cornea transplants technically enhanced her life…but in my perspective, donation saved her and all of us who love her.