Giving the Gift of Sight

Did you know that many hospice patients can give the gift of sight – even when they’re not eligible for other organ donations?


Mary shared her family’s experience of cornea donation.

“When my husband Steve died in the Hospice in October 2022, we were with him. I was able to lie by him in a big bed and it made such a difference. I was with Steve for fifty-two years, and you don’t want to let your loved one go.

When he died, my daughter and I were on a mission to make sure that somebody would be able to use his eyes.

In January, I got a letter from the NHS Blood and Transplant team. I learned that Steve’s corneas were used to restore and improve the sight of two people: an 82-year-old man and a 79-year-old lady. I could not believe it. I was so happy.

I phoned the number included on the letter, just wanting to say thank you. I couldn’t stop crying. It was just so emotional. They’d also sent me a Gold Heart Pin and The Order of St John Award for Tissue Donation in Steve’s name.

It’s Steve’s legacy involved, and it’s just amazing.”

Dr Katy Bruce adds: “Five years ago, I worried that people might feel pressured to donate their corneas, but in my experience, people are delighted to find out it’s an option. The donation can be done here at the Hospice by the NHS Blood and Transplant Service. It’s amazing that corneas donated by an eighty-year-old can still function perfectly twenty years later.”