Group wants to boost cornea transplants, eye donors in Central Texas

KXAN | GiGi Barrett
A cornea donated to the Lone Star Lions Eye Bank in Manor. Doctors say eye transplants are 94 percent successful. (KXAN Photo)
AUSTIN (KXAN) — For many patients, the gift of sight begins with a much-needed transplant. That is why one Lions Club branch is pushing for more eye donations across Central Texas.

10-year-old Carmel Navarro was born with a large cataract in her right eye. It led to blurred vision and painful mornings.

“I always felt like something was in my eye,” said the 5th grader.

So three years ago, doctors decided on a cornea transplant. But, Carmel’s body rejected the first and second ones. The third one took, improving her vision. She has also been able to contact the family of 13-year-old Peyton James, one of her cornea donors. Peyton took his own life in 2014, but told his parents that he wanted to be an organ donor.

“They’re really happy to see me,” said Carmel, of Peyton’s parents. “Because I always give them some remembrance of their son.” Continue reading

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