For James ‘Laurie’ Patton, new corneas he received through the organ donation scheme have made his life both brighter and richer.
Laurie, who is from Luncarty in Perthshire, could not be happier with the outcome of the two cornea operations he underwent at Ninewells Hospital last year. The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer and is the clear dome-shaped surface that covers the front of your eye. It plays an important role in focusing your vision.
Laurie said, “I never thought I would see my grandchildren play on the beach or that I would be able to see them properly, but I can see perfectly now. It’s just fantastic.
“I worked in the art department at DC Thomson for 46 years, my whole life really, and it was hard work on my eyes. I have worn glasses since I was 19. After I retired, driving was becoming a bit of a problem.
“I went to my doctor who sent me to my optician and on to a specialist at Perth Royal Infirmary then to Dr Welch in Dundee.
“Dr Welch is such a nice man and he has made a big improvement to my life. He is such an asset to Ninewells and the staff at the hospital are so good. Everyone is so friendly and I couldn’t say enough about the quality of care. I think it’s been better than private care because everyone went above and beyond.”
Dr James Welch, consultant ophthalmologist at NHS Tayside and a cornea and anterior segment specialist, said, “I preformed bilateral corneal transplants on Laurie and his vision has improved significantly. The return of good vision has made a big different to his quality of life.
“Organ donation can give a whole new life to the recipient and while the loss of a loved one can never be understated, giving the gift of life to someone through organ donation might give some consolation to those left behind. One organ donor can save or transform up to seven lives.
“Lots of people think they would be unsuitable to donate organs and tissues because of medical history or lifestyle choices, but each potential donor is individually assessed and we need people from all ethnicities and backgrounds to register. Joining the organ donor register takes about two minutes but those two minutes could quite literally save a life.”
You can register to be a donor at www.weneedeverybody.org