While working as a high school librarian, Mary noticed that during the second half of the day print became blurry and she sometimes experienced double vision. She was diagnosed with allergic conjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis. These two ailments combined with the need to have cataracts removed, caused Mary to rapidly lose her vision. At the age of 42 she was forced to retire from a job she loved as she could no longer see well enough to assist her students. “I spiraled down into a deep depression,” Mary remembers. “I would have daily pity parties.” Along with losing her ability to work, Mary also discovered she could no longer drive. Her lifestyle was drastically changed. Mary decided she was going to find a doctor that could help. After a 12 year search she discovered a surgeon that recommended bi-lateral corneal transplants to restore her vision.
The day the call came notifying Mary that a cornea had been donated for her first surgery was a memorable one. She was nervous about what would happen but knew that she had been given a precious gift from a stranger. That morning she signed up herself to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. “Transplantation saved my sight, changed my life, improved my attitude and has provided me numerous opportunities to serve and travel,” exclaimed Mary. “I would be honored to do the same for someone else.”