To be or not to be an organ donor- that is the question. Many religions do not wholly support donating ones organs or body parts. My religion  traditionally considers life and the body to be sacred and that the body should be buried in its entirety and should not be desecrated. However many modern religious scholars take the view that donating an organ to save a life is one of the greatest virtues that one can do and takes precedence over other beliefs. But what about donating ones eyes? Corneal transplants while technically not life saving can prevent blindness which these scholars feel is similar to death and is therefore acceptable.

When D my husband of nearly 50 years passed away suddenly a few months ago, the medical staff  at the hospital informed me that he was registered as an organ donor. My first reaction was that his organs were unhealthy and that nobody would want them. I was correct.  The only exception was his eyes that had the potential to restore sight to the recipient or recipients of this gift.

How could I allow them to take his eyes away from him–his beautiful blue eyes. I agonized for weeks and months over the fact that his eyes were no longer with him. It haunted me in my dreams. I had nightmares. I didn’t discuss it with any one and tried to come to terms with it.

In September a large white envelope  arrived from the Eye Bank Of Canada. I didn’t open it. I stored it in a drawer and tried not to think about it. Finally after two months, I did open it. Inside was a certificate gratefully acknowledging the enduring gift of sight made by D. There was also a letter to me offering condolences and informing me that a few days after his death his eyes were used in two sight restoring transplants. There was a phone number to contact if I desired more information. Again I stalled before taking that next step. I spoke to a nice women. She said she would phone me back after she looked up his chart. When she called me back she asked me if I was by nature a jealous person. I assured her I was not. She answered ‘that’s good because his eyes went to to two women’. Now here is the strange part. Both women live in a province in western Canada where I grew up. In fact one of the women lives in the city where I grew up. This woman was born in the same year that I was. One recipient suffered from Keratoconus and the other from Fuchs Dystrophy. Both transplants were successful. Both patients were doing well when last checked in October. They are seeing the world through D’s eyes and hopefully D is seeing the world through theirs. A part of him lives on.

One can register on line to become an organ donor.  At present the whole eye can not be transplanted, only the cornea. If you want more information on Corneal transplants you can contact the Eye Bank of Canada.

fax–416 978 1522

phone 416 978 7355

address: The Eye Bank of Canada {Ontario Division}                                          University of Toronto–340 College street, B 100 Toronto , On, M5 T 3A9



About epsnider

EP Snider’s dream came to fruition when she published a book at age 69. She continues to share her thoughts and stories with a humorous twist on Wordpress and Facebook.
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5 Responses to The Gift OF SIGHT

  1. cindyfazzi says:

    In the U.S. (at least in the three states I’ve lived in over the years), we check a box in our application or renewal of driver’s license to become an organ donor. It’s so easy, there’s no reason for people to not do it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.


  2. epsnider says:

    In Canada we also can sign our license to consent to being an organ donor.
    Thank you for your comment


  3. Wow, Elaine, this post hit close to home for me. Many years ago I had an eye condition that destroys the corneas. It was incorrectly diagnosed for over two years and by that time the scarring on my corneas was pretty severe, but I was fortunate that I still retained my sight. The condition was cured and over the years the scarring actually improved. Another lady I knew wasn’t as lucky. She lost her sight and had to have cornea transplants. The gift of sight indeed. What a wonderful, precious gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • epsnider says:

      So glad Elizabeth that your condition is cured. I have a weak area at the back of my retina that I get checked on a regular basis. I think without sight i wouldn’t have the will to live. Have a great Christmas.I am going down south with trepidation at the end of this month. Firsts in everything in the first year after a loss of a loved one is always the hardest, but i will persevere.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. wnso says:

    A cool man that dude you married… I like that he signed that and gave 2 peeps the gift of sight. Nice of you to share him with 2 other women. I like that comment about “are you the jealous type”.. funny.


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