National Hispanic Heritage Month- Carmen, Cornea Recipient

Carmen WP size photo

Carmen has the warm and inviting smile of a dear friend. It is the kind of smile that
makes those around her want smile too. Her bright smile is there today because she
sees life much more clearly than she did several years ago, before a corneal transplant
changed her life.

At the age of 19, Carmen was diagnosed with a progressive medical condition that
affected her vision. As Carmen’s eyesight gradually deteriorated over time, her daily
activities became very limited. Carmen struggled to simply view the computer screen at
her job as an accountant, and she suffered a serious bicycle accident, badly injuring her
knees. Carmen sought medical treatment in her native Mexico, where she lived at the
time, but attempts to restore her eyesight were unsuccessful.

Carmen’s hopes of regaining her vision were fading, but she didn’t give up. In 2004,
shortly after relocating to the United States and settling down in Arizona, Carmen met
with transplant surgeons to assess her options. Doctors determined that a corneal
transplant would be the key to restoring Carmen’s sight, and she decided to pursue the
surgery. Carmen’s transplant was success.

Today, Carmen has resumed living the life she loves without limitation, and she eagerly
talks about the importance of registering as a donor. She also works to dispel the myths
and misconceptions that may prevent some people from saying “yes” to donation.
Carmen acknowledges the life-changing decision of donors and their families with
gratitude for what they make possible. “Without their generosity, says Carmen, “I would
not have been able to regain my sight… this is truly an incredible gift.”

Story submitted by Donor Network of Arizona.

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