Cornea transplants restored sight to more than 600 Missourians last year March is National Eye Donor Month Eyesight was restored last year to 640 Missourians who received cornea transplants made po

 Cornea transplants restored sight to more than
600 Missourians last year

March is National Eye Donor
Month

Eyesight was restored last year to
640 Missourians who received cornea transplants made possible through eye tissue
donation.

“Cornea transplants significantly improve the quality of life
for hundreds of Missourians every year,” said Margaret Donnelly, director of the
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “Becoming an eye tissue donor
allows you to give the gift of sight to someone afflicted with an eye disease or
injury.”

State health officials are
encouraging Missourians to become eye tissue donors in recognition of March as
National Eye Donor Month.

The Missouri Organ Donor Program
works with the Heartland Lions Eye Bank to inform the public about the need for
eye tissue donors. Missouri residents can make arrangements to become
donors by signing up for the state’s Organ and Tissue Donor Registry and
informing their families of their decision.

 Registration takes only a few minutes and can be done online
at www.missouriorgandonor.com.

Eye donor banks have been helping to restore eyesight through
transplants since 1960. More than 700,000 people have regained their eyesight
since eye donor banks began providing eye tissue for cornea transplants. The
need for eye tissue increases every year.

“Major advancements have been made in tissue and organ
transplantation over the past several decades so the need for eye tissue is
greater now than ever before,” Donnelly said. “I urge Missouri residents to
learn more about becoming an organ and tissue donor.”

President Reagan proclaimed the first National Eye Donor
Month in 1983. Since that time, Congress has designated every March as National
Eye Donor Month to increase awareness of the need for eye tissue
donation.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation and the
Missouri Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, go to www.dhss.mo.gov/organdonor. For specific information about cornea donation,
contact the Heartland Lions Eye Banks at 1-800-283-1982, ext. 115 or [email protected].