Colista Ledford has given up her large print Reader’s Digest, and singing at church is no problem now that she can see the words in the hymn book.
“It was about to interfere with my driving,” Ledford said of the cataract removed last year.
Although doctors knew Ledford’s cataracts were causing her vision to deteriorate, she was told removing them would also mean a cornea transplant. By May 2011, Ledford said she was ready to give the surgery a try.
“Just a few days later I¿could see,”¿Ledford said. “It was so thrilling.”
According to the Eye Bank Association of America, 46,196 corneal transplants were performed in 2011, with a 95 percent success rate.
The new cornea came from a human donor, although Ledford does not know who. She became familiar with organ donation when her 11-year-old nephew was killed by a drunk driver and his heart was donated.
In 2006, Kentucky lawmakers passed legislation enabling Kentucky residents to have their wishes concerning organ donation documented through the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry, its website states.
One individual donor “can provide organs, bone and tissue for nearly 50 people in need,” according to the registry website.
Now Ledford said she is considering have the procedure done on her other eye. Had it not been for the procedure, her vision would have continued to deteriorate.
Both the cataracts and glaucoma were cured by surgery.
“I would highly recommend the surgery,” she said. “I¿hadn’t been able to read the hymns and sing. All of a sudden, I could see every word there.”
Those wishing to be considered as a possible organ and tissue donor can place their name on the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry, www.donatelifeky.org, and they can also enter their names in the registry when renewing a driver’s license.
Ledford said she hopes to be an organ donor herself some day, so she can help others.
According to the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks Trust for Life, a non-profit that advocates organ and tissue donation awareness, more than 1.2 million Kentucky residents have registered as an organ and tissue donor.
For more information, visit www.donatelifeky.org.
Contact Rachel Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org.