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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Middletown Woman Gets Cornea Transplant from Organ Donor


At the age of 24, doctors told Christine Scarano she may eventually go blind due to an incurable eye disease.

Middletown, NJ - For as long as she can remember, Christine Scarano struggled to see.

When she was in third-grade, teachers thought she was cheating because she kept asking other students what it said on the chalkboard. At her first eye exam, she remembers she couldn't even make out the big "E" — it was just blurry lines.

She wore thick glasses all her life and, at 24, was diagnosed with keratoconus.

It's a degenerative, progressive eye disease in which the cornea is irregularly shaped, changing the way light is seen. There is no cure, and it gets worse over time, meaning Christine's vision would steadily deteriorate as the years passed, eventually leading to near blindness.

For this North Middletown resident, 43, there was only one treatment: A cornea transplant. But who would give up their corneas? Christine's new eyes had to come from someone young, someone healthy — and someone who had recently died.

The gift of sight

In her early 30s, she was put on a list for organ recipients. One Friday morning, she got a phone call. A tissue match had come through. She needed to get to the hospital right away for blood work and preparation, and the transplant was done Monday. Continue reading

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