Saving Sight, one of the largest eye banks in the country, recognized the staff at Cox Medical Center South on Friday for their outstanding support of eye donation. The award coincides with National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, an observance sponsored by Donate Life America to promote eye, organ and tissue donation.
Kharim Strayhorn, partner relations coordinator for Saving Sight, presented the Excellence in Eye Donation Award to CoxHealth Sr. Vice President, Chief Hospital Officer Ron Prenger.
Saving Sight awarded the Excellence in Eye Donation Award to its partner hospitals that achieved an eye donation consent rate that exceeded 45 percent and had at least 10 patients donate eye tissue in 2014. Less than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s referral partners received this award. Cox Medical Center South received it for achieving a consent rate of 61 percent last year, and 174 patients there made the heroic decision to donate their eyes to help others suffering from severe vision loss. Eye donation at Cox Medical Center South resulted in more cornea transplants than any other partner hospital in Saving Sight’s three-state service area.
Americans will receive approximately 48,000 cornea transplant surgeries this year to preserve or restore their vision. With healthy vision, these people will be able to resume joyful, independent lives. Thanks to the generosity of eye donors, their families and supportive hospital staff like those at Cox Medical Center South, Saving Sight was able to provide donated eye tissue for 2,985 corneal transplants in 2014.
According to the Eye Bank Association of America, “over 95 percent of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision.” So eye donors have an incredible impact on the lives of recipients, often relieving pain and reviving independence. In fact, a recent study coordinated by the EBAA found that corneal transplants in the U.S., by enabling people to resume employment and lead healthy lives, offer a total lifetime net benefit of nearly $6 billion. “The EBAA’s study does a great job of illustrating that eye donors not only give the gift of sight to recipients but they also enhance prosperity in our communities,” said Tony Bavuso, chief executive officer of Saving Sight.