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Giving the gift of sight

Di Websdale-Morrissey shares her story of discovering she suffers from a disease which leads to blindness.

Today is World Sight Day – a celebration of the wonder of vision, and a day that usually scoots by me unnoticed. No longer. My blissful security dissolved a few years ago when my optician said my corneas – ‘looked bubbled, like obscure glass’.

My bubbles had a name: ‘Fuchs corneal dystrophy’, an uncommon, progressive, degenerative disease that inevitably leads to blindness.

The universe had prepared me. I was writing a biography of Lawrie McCredie, a man who lost his sight – and much more – in an explosion when he was 23. Lawrie lived a remarkable life, modelling grace in the face of blindness. 

I have seen my three children grow and delighted in watching the antics of my crazy brood of six grandchildren. These were things denied Lawrie, but I had the promise of corneal transplantation.

My first transplant was last December – a Christmas gift like no other. Unknowingly someone bequeathed to me a precious cornea, a staggering gesture enacted by the donor’s family and the Lions Eye Donation Service.  This donated cornea now keeps my right eye clear; my left is booked for surgery.

This World Sight Day, think about your sight, have a discussion with your family and register for organ donation. There is such need.

Find out how to become an organ donor at the Human Services website

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