While taking her vision test at the License Bureau, Cindy Crawford realized she was having trouble seeing the graphics on the screen. After barely passing the test, the clerk mentioned she might want to have her vision checked. Cindy was concerned because she just had been to the eye doctor and was told her vision was okay. Years before, she had been informed of a degenerative eye disease that would eventually cause her vision to fail. Cindy feared that time had come.
She was referred by her eye doctor to a specialist in Columbus and was told that her disease, Fuchs Dystrophy, was progressive and that her only course of treatment would eventually be a corneal transplant. For the moment her eyesight, although poor, was not quite at the point that required a transplant. Her doctor prescribed medication and adjusted her glasses, with the hope that her vision would stabilize.
For the next two years Cindy lived her life, watched her grandchildren grow, and even accepted a job as a manager at the Lima Bowsher BMV agency. Her employer and co-workers supported Cindy with the tools she needed to do her job by providing lights, magnifiers and assistance when it was required. Unfortunately, her vision continued to fail and in 2011 she was unable to drive and she squinted constantly as she struggled to see. “It was like I was driving through fog all the time,” she recalls. It was hard to see anything.” She knew it was time for her to be listed to receive a corneal transplant.
“For me, it wasn’t a choice,” she says. “There is no cure for my disease and I knew if I wanted to have any sort of life-working or helping out with my grandchildren, I would need the transplant.”
On the day before Thanksgiving in 2011, Cindy received the first of two corneal transplants. She received her second in August 2013. Thanks to two generous donors, Cindy was able to see clearly again. “I am so grateful to both of my donors,” she declares, adding that she has written both of their families “to offer my condolences and to thank them.”
Now, when Cindy works at the BMV she can see clearly out of the large picture windows.
“The colors and brightness are amazing!” she says. “I didn’t realize how bad my vision was until I received these transplants.” When time and opportunity permits Cindy shares her story with others. She considers it her way of paying it forward: “It takes a lot for a transplant like mine to occur- a heroic donor, doctors, staff, technology and more. I thank God for making it ALL possible so I could have my returned sight.”
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