Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Member Perspective: SA Eye Bank

New member Emily Gary recently volunteered at the San Antonio Eye Bank's  Memorial Donor Quilt Ceremony. She graciously provided a recounting of her experience:

Today I volunteered for the San Antonio Eye Bank at their annual Memorial Donor Quilt Ceremony. This day was for families to honor and remember those loved ones who have passed and subsequently donated their eye tissue to SAEB. They were able to pin a personally-decorated memorial patch on a donor quilt in their family member's honor. The ceremony included testimony from both donor families and recipients.

It was so moving to speak with families who were there to honor their loved ones. One mom in particular touched me, teardrops falling onto the registration table as she filled out her remembrance card, still hurting from the loss of her 7-year-old donor. A father spoke to the group as a recipient who had lost vision in one eye. He now lives his life each day, with vision in both eyes, in such a way as to respect and honor the donor who made his restored vision possible.

I didn’t go into the day expecting to take anything from this experience other than five more required hours, but this amazing circle of life that we witnessed was touching and it gave me an entirely new view on organ/tissue donation. The day ended with a grand release of a hundred or so yellow balloons.

About the San Antonio Eye Bank:

The community-based San Antonio Eye Bank has become a pioneer and leader in providing eye banking services to patients, surgeons and hospitals in San Antonio and throughout South Texas for more than 40 years.

The eye bank reaches out to the community with innovative programs designed to increase awareness about the importance and need for donated eye tissue for transplant. The non-profit, non-governmental San Antonio Eye Bank is a member of the TBI/Tissue Banks International non-profit network of vision and certified by Eye Bank Association of America.

The San Antonio Eye Bank Donor Family Quilt is an opportunity to honor and remember donors and allow transplant recipients to express their gratitude for the gift of sight. Organizations across the country use quilts as a visual display of how lives are touched by donation and transplantation.
The San Antonio Eye Bank is proud to sponsor the quilt in partnership with quilting maker, J Larry Beauchamp of the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild.

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