Donate Life Week: Australians encouraged to donate their organs, including eyes and heart

Cassie Hames lost most of her sight at age 15 and needed a stick to help her walk. Now 27, she has since had two corneal transplants and can see well with glasses. Picture: Cassie Hames
NEWS AU | Rebecca Sullivan

CASSIE Hames was 15 years old when her sight started to deteoriate.

She first noticed something was wrong when she couldn’t pick out landmarks or read street signs, and even people’s faces.

“I couldn’t make anything out because I needed contrast to see things. If you put a glass on a table, I wouldn’t be able to see it,” Ms Hames, now 27, from Adelaide, told

“It was really scary to go to the optometrist and realise I couldn’t read half the test card, when previously I could read the whole thing.”

Ms Hames was diagnosed with keratoconus, a disease where the cornea, the clear layer on the outside of the eye, thins and becomes misshapen.

Her doctors said her condition was past the point of treatment and a corneal transplant was the only cure.

She went on the organ donor list in January 2010 and was lucky enough to receive a corneal transplant in her left eye in February. In March 2012, she had another transplant in her right eye. Continue reading
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