VALLEY STREAM, NY – The Lions Eye Bank for Long Island commemorated the lives of tissue/organ donors who gave their corneas and the recipients who got the gift of sight as a result during a reception on Tuesday morning at Franklin Hospital.
Since 2012, families of Lions Eye Bank cornea donors have been given the option to create a quilt square to honor their loved one. A quilt including 12 of those squares was unveiled at the hospital during a reception featuring donor families and recipients who showed the importance and great impact of organ donation.
Betty Troy, whose mother Patricia donated her corneas almost two decades ago, said it was very important to her mother that her corneas be donated after she learned about the process through a TV program. Patricia’s eyes went to recipients in Paris and, though her mother didn’t get to travel much, Betty said it warmed her heart thinking that her mother’s eyes are looking at the Eiffel Tower.
The youngest attendee at the reception, 10-month-old Hudson Mitchell, was a recipient of two corneas, one from the Lions Eye Bank, after she was born in December with a congenital eye issue. Her mother, Desiree, noted that, “through Hudson’s eyes, we’re able to see life differently.” Ms. Mitchell said she and her family are extremely appreciative of the two donors and their families as well as the Lions Eye Bank.
“We will be forever grateful to the Lions Eye Bank,” Ms. Mitchell said.
Families who created the quilt squares were given a framed copy of their square. Local government representatives including Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino and Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, president of the New York State Association of County Health Officials, attended the reception, joined by members of the Lions Eye Bank’s board, the local Lions Clubs and Franklin Hospital employees.
The Lions Eye Bank, which was started in 1986, is sponsored by the Lions Clubs International and part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. It is located at Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream.
For more information about the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island and organ donation, call 516-256-6990.