Someone once said, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” As Family Services Coordinator for the Iowa Lions Eye Bank, it has been my personal experience to communicate with many donor families who have received a heartfelt “thank you” note from a recipient of their loved one’s cornea, sometimes within a week or two of the donor’s death. While still in the midst of their grief, they find comfort and reassurance regarding the decision to donate to help someone, a sense of peace in knowing that their loved one’s legacy lives on through the gift of sight to another, and verification that their loved one’s final gift was indeed received and appreciated by the recipient.

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Les Lipschutz

Donor Family,

I cannot begin to express how sorry I am for the loss of your loved one. Your Gift of Sight through organ donation has truly been received as a miracle for me. I was going blind and was told that I would lose all vision within a year without a cornea transplant.

Today, I can see clearly. I am able to look into the eyes of my wife, my children and my grandchildren. I was able to see the ultrasound photo of my future grandchild.

As a retired teacher and civil war historian, I am an avid reader. But I have not been able to see the words on the pages for almost a year. I could not get my license renewed because I could not see the eye chart. I was not even able to see the beautiful smile on my wife's face.

Restored vision has made everything in my life more meaningful. Please know that your donating to the Gift of Sight has dramatically improved my vision in countless ways. It restored not only my vision but also color, vibrancy, the ability to read again and learn through reading, the ability to use a cell phone, watch a television, see autumn leaves, winter snow and the beautiful colors of spring flowers. By next summer, I hope to again go sailing, kayaking and hiking. These are activities I have not been able to enjoy.

Please know that I will never be able to thank your loved one for this most precious Gift of Sight and there are not enough words to express how thankful I and my entire family are to you and your family. I will take extra special care of this cherished gift and see the world through your loved one's beautiful eyes.

May you and your family know of no more sorrow and may you be blessed with health and blessings.

--Les, Cornea Recipient

Click here to read more Through the Eyes of a Recipient features.


For more information please contact: Debra Schuett, Family Services Coordinator