top of page

Recipient Resources

The Lions Medical Eye Bank is proud to partner with Surgeons all over the globe to provide donated cornea tissue so that we can help restore sight to their patients. If you have recently had a cornea transplant surgery, we hope that your healing process is going smoothly.

If you have questions about the surgery itself, or are having any health issues you believe may be related to your surgery, contact your surgeon's office directly. If you are having a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

Corresponding through the Lions Medical Eye Bank Logo

Writing to Donor Families

Have you ever wondered how you could thank the family who made your corneal transplant possible?

The Lions Medical Eye Bank supports written correspondence between transplant recipients and donor families. All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are kept confidential. The decision to write to your donor's family is a very personal one.

Oftentimes, donor families find comfort in hearing from the recipients of their loved one’s corneas. A simple card, thank you note, or letter can be uplifting to the family and reassure them that they made a wonderful decision to help others in the midst of their grief.

If you would like to correspond with your Donor's Family, please keep in mind that we need your assistance to make sure that all correspondence remains anonymous.

  • Address your correspondence to "Donor Family".

  • Sign your first name only.

  • Do not reveal your address, city, phone number, name of transplant center or physician.

A letter on a table with a cup of coffee and a fancy pen. The letter has been started "Dear Donor Family,"

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part.

Here is some general guidance & ideas of what you may want to include:

An example of a letter written anonymously through the eye bank. Click on the letter to read in it's entirety

An example of a letter from a Transplant Recipient to a Donor Family. 

Talk about yourself

  • Your job or occupation

  • Your family situation (spouse, children, grandchildren)

  • Your hobbies or interests

Talk about Your Transplant Experience

  • How has the transplant improved your vision? 

  • What significant changes in your life happened as a result?

  • Can you participate in activities now that you couldn’t before the transplant?

What is happening in your life?
How your renewed vision made it more meaningful? Did you...

  • celebrate a birthday?

  • have a child who got married?

  • become a parent or a grandparent?

  • return to school or accept a new job?

Please keep in mind:

  • Use simple language

  • Recognize the donor family and thank them for their gift

  • Since the religion of the donor’s family is unknown, please consider this when making religious comments.

Mailing Your Card or Letter

Mail your correspondence to:

Lions Medical Eye Bank

600 Gresham Drive

Norfolk, VA 23507

Please include:

  • Your correspondence

    • If you are including an envelope for your card or letter, please do not seal that envelope. 

  • A separate piece of paper with the following information

    • Your full name

    • Date of your transplant

 

Allow extra mailing time:

The Lions Medical Eye Bank staff member will first review your card or letter to ensure confidentiality, then will forward it to the recipient. Since your card or letter must be mailed to the Lions Medical Eye Bank first and then forwarded, please allow extra time for your letter to reach your donor's family.

The Decision to write to Donor Families is a very personal one. All correspondence is completely anonymous.

Will I hear from the donor's family?

You may or may not. Some donor families have said that writing about their loved one and their decision to donate helps them in their grieving process. Other donor families, even though they are comfortable with their decision to donate, prefer privacy and choose not to write to the transplant recipients.

Remember, the donor’s family may still be coping with the loss of their loved one and individuals manage grief in different ways. While you may be celebrating the anniversary of receiving your transplant, it is also the anniversary of someone else’s loss. Please communicate in a sensitive manner.

If you would like further information about writing to donor families, or have any further questions, please contact the Lions Medical Eye Bank at info@lionseyebank.org.

Share Your Story

Hampton Roads Advisory Council on Organ Donation at a round table at a previous Donor Appreciation Luncheon.

The selfless gift of sight comes at the greatest of sacrifices, the loss of a loved one. For some, an anatomical gift, like organ, tissue, or eye donation, can be the bridge between life and death that soothes the pain of such loss.

Occasionally, the Lions Medical Eye Banks asks Transplant Recipients to share the story of their loved one, and their experience with Eye Donation, either through written publications like our newsletter, or at events held for Donor 

Families, Transplant Recipients, Surgeons and other healthcare professionals, Lions Club Members, and other community members. If you are interested in sharing your story during one of these events, please contact Special Projects Consultant Donna Stephens.

bottom of page