Submitted by Lion Secretary Bob Hayter
At a meeting of the Lee’s Summit Lion Club at the Perkins Restaurant in Lee’s Summit on July 9, 2019, President Michael Delacour introduced to the club Lion PDG Pat Scott from the Mayview Lions Club and her friend Rhonda Gaucher (not a Lion). PDG Pat presented the program to the club on Saving Sight, who since serving her term as District Governor has time to serve on the sight committee. This is a three-year term with another three if desired.
Saving Sight is now a standalone committee and is not associated with Kids Sight, also a standalone committee. Both are headquartered at 1001 North Ambassador Drive in Kansas City, by the airport.
Pat went on to present hand outs to the club on corneal transplants, and stats on how many they provide each year, and the importance of donating your eyes upon your death. The eye tissue must be recovered within 24 hours of the donor’s death, Saving Sight has technicians on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When Saving Sight determines that the tissue is likely to be suitable for transplantation they perform an insitu procedure to gently remove the cornea and immediately placed in preservation media so it can be safely transported. A blood sample is also taken from the donor during the tissue retrieval the sample is then sent out for testing to detect if there is a presents of infectious diseases like HIV or Hepatitis B or C.
At the laboratory, the corneal tissue is further evaluated for its best suited use. After a cornea has been cleared for transplant, Saving Sight’s client services team meets a corneal surgeon’s needs by offering tissue for transplant. All corneal tissue is first offered to surgeons in our three-state region before being distributed nationally and then internationally although corneas can be stored for up to two weeks, U.S. physicians usually prefer to transplant donor tissue within five days.
During the FY 2018-2019 Saving Sight distributed 642 corneas in Missouri, 311 in Kansas and 59 in Illinois, for an overall total of 2,812. The Club then presented her a check made out to Saving Sight for $500.00.