For Recipients

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Corneal transplants are the most common and most successful transplants performed.

More than 50,000 cornea transplants occur in the United States each year. As a recipient, 

your surgery involved replacing your cornea with a new one donated by a deceased 

donor and their family.


If you have not yet written to your donor’s family, we ask that you consider writing. 

It can be a very powerful experience for you and it can also be a healing experience 

for the donor’s family.


Often transplant recipients choose to write to their donor’s family to express their

gratitude and share how their loved one’s gift of donation has improved their quality

of life. The San Antonio Eye Bank is available to support you in connecting you letter

or card of gratitude to the donor’s family.

Guidelines for Letter Writing from Recipient to Donor Family Member

Many recipients struggle with the decision to write to their donor family. They just don't know how to say "thank you" for such a precious gift.


Donor families do appreciate and often find comfort in knowing the transplant was successful.


The San Antonio Eye Bank encourages and facilitates all correspondence between donor families and cornea recipients. We protect the anonymity of both the donor families and the recipients. If you would like to write a letter to the recipient of your loved ones corneas, please use the letter writing guidelines below.


  •  Write about yourself. You may want to include your name (first name only) and information about your job, your family and friends, your hobbies and interests and the name of the state you reside in.


  • Write about your personal transplant experience. You may want to include information about your disease and how a transplant has affected your life.


  • You may wish to thank your donor family.


  • Sign only your first name.


  • Keep identities anonymous and confidential. Avoid including any last names, street addresses, city names, phone numbers, or names of hospitals or physicians. On occasion, donor families and transplant recipients may wish to reveal identities to each other. Both must agree to this before any personal information will be released by the eye bank.

After you have completed your letter or card, place it in an unsealed envelope.


Include a separate sheet of paper with your full name, date of your transplant, and the name of your surgeon.


Mail both your letter or card and the separate note to:

Attn: Transplant Recipient Correspondence

San Antonio Eye Bank

9150 Huebner Road, Suite 105

San Antonio, Texas 78240


All letters are reviewed to ensure confidentiality before the letter is forwarded to the donor family. Some donor families may send a letter or card in response to your letter. Others may choose not to write to you at this time — this is their personal decision. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please contact the San Antonio Eye Bank.

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Recipient Stories

Thanks to the generosity of anonymous donors, transplant recipients are able to receive the gift of sight.

Some of these miraculous testimonies are below.

If you are a local cornea recipient who would like to share your testimony,

please contact the San Antonio Eye Bank at 210.614.1209

Daniel – Living a Transformed Life

In 1995, as high school freshman, I was diagnosed with cornea disease called Keratoconous.

After graduating from high school, and later college, the disease began to take a toll on my eyesight. By 2005, the disease had deformed my right cornea to the point where I was legally blind in my right eye. I was still able to play a little bit of basketball, but I had lost the love of the game because I could no longer see the basket clearly from the three point line. 


I began to become depressed at my loss of vision and started overeating and not taking care of my health. Everything climaxed in January of 2007, when in the middle of a presentation at work, my right cornea ruptured and my eye swelled to the point where you could not see the blue color in my eye.


Three months later I received a life changing gift, a cornea transplant. I learned that my cornea transplant came from a young woman, and not a day goes by where I do not thank her and her family for that gift. 


Since my transplant I have been blessed and transformed in every aspect of life. After my transplant I began running, swimming and cycling and have lost over 60 pounds. In addition to training daily I have competed in two Ironman's, three marathons and hope to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon.


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Alejandro – New Vision, New Journey

Alejandro was a sweet and precious baby, but from the beginning we knew something was odd. His eyes seemed to be a blue color and we don’t have anyone in our family that has blue colored eyes. As a baby, he would cry loudly if he was taken out into bright sunlight. 


After several doctor’s visits in pre-kindergarten we learned what was wrong. He had been born with CHED disease. It was only a year after he was diagnosed, that we learned that he was quickly going blind and that a transplant was the only option.


At the age of 7, his world changed when he received “the gift of sight” a cornea transplant in his left eye. He has gone from having 20/100 to 20/60 vision.


Our family will be forever grateful for the family that donated the cornea our little boy received. Thanks to their gift he now has the opportunity to see the world and all its beauty.