Sheri: Forever Grateful for Her Tragic and Beautiful Transplants
As a bilateral cornea graft recipient, Sheri is well-acquainted with the experience she calls both "tragic and beautiful." Her first transplant took place on the Monday after Thanksgiving. "The gravity of the situation hit me," she says. "Someone, a young person most likely, had passed away over the holiday. I couldn't imagine the grief some family was suffering."
For more than 10 years, Sheri had battled keratoconus, a degenerative condition that causes corneas to change shape and blurs vision. As the disease progressed in her left eye, the cornea became so steep that the special contact lens she wore would no longer stay in place. A cornea transplant was the only way to restore her eyesight.
"My two-year-old son walked up and for the first time ever in his life I saw him clearly."
About a year after the transplant, Sheri was able to wear a contact lens again in her left eye for the first time in years. "I'll never forget it. My two-year-old son walked up and for the first time ever in his life I saw him clearly," she recalls. "I wrote a letter to the family of my cornea donor, thanking them for their selflessness, and included a picture of my son."
When Sheri's right eye worsened and she faced a second cornea transplant, she again grappled with mixed emotions, feeling both anguish at another family's loss and joy in receiving a second gift of sight. Now in her early 40s, she sees 20/20 with soft contacts and is not only able to work full-time as a corporate attorney but also to take up new activitiessuch as downhill skiingwith her husband and two sons. She's also pursuing a master's degree in theological studies, in no small part inspired by her transplant experience.
Grateful for sight, Sheri will always keep a special place in her heart for her two cornea donors and their families.
Sheri, grateful to her cornea donors and their families.