[Nfbc-info] Fw: [il-talk] I want to get the lists opinion of theblindnessattitudes displayed in this article.

Rob rcubfank at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jun 12 04:23:08 UTC 2013

I think this would be good to bat this around the listserve.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Lin H.
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:25 AM
To: Jemal Powell ; NFB of Illinois Mailing List
Subject: Re: [il-talk] I want to get the lists opinion of 
theblindnessattitudes displayed in this article.

I can't deny that I would love to see again!  I do miss seeing my husbands
face, my family and friends.  But it's not the end of the world since I've
lost my sight!  I'm just learning a new way to enjoy all the thing I had
before.  I'm learning to do things independantly, as I was afraid 3 years
ago.  But with the help of the new friends and the NFBI, it's making things
alittle easier than if I hadn't known about The Federation.  I am also glad
for this woman, though!     Sincerely, Linda

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jemal Powell
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:44 PM
To: NFBof Illinois Mailing List
Subject: [il-talk] I want to get the lists opinion of the blindnessattitudes
displayed in this article.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: NFB-NEWSLINE Online <nfbnewsline at nfb.org>
To: Jemal Powell <derek2872 at yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 5:50 PM
Subject: Article from Chicago Tribune News 2013 04 15

TRIBUNE VOICES. Tinley Park mother looks on eye donors' gifts with thanks.
Barbara Brotman. Look around.  . What would you miss seeing most if you went
blind? The sunrise. The lake. The spot in your living room where the morning
sun pours in. Your spouse. Your child. Your friends. All the sights your
eyes drink in -- words on a page, expressions on a face, the center line
down a road -- what if they started to fade before your eyes? For Sarah
Mittler, it began with her clock. I looked up at the clock and was like,
'Holy cow,' " said Mittler, a mother of five in Tinley Park. I thought it
must be dirty. She took the clock off the wall and cleaned it. It still
looked dirty. Everything was starting to become blurry. Her kitchen, the
stairs, her children's faces, utensils in the drawer -- they all ran
together like mud. It was as if her eyes were coated with petroleum jelly.
She thought there was something wrong with the lights at the grocery store.
She asked
her husband why he had installed dimmers at home. While driving, she groused
at all the motorists crossing the lane into hers. But there was nothing
wrong with the lights. And she was the one crossing the lane lines. Mittler
had Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy, in which cells inside the cornea
deteriorate. Fluid builds inside the cornea, causing vision problems and
potentially blindness. It usually proceeds slowly, over years. In Mittler's
case, it was galloping. Within months, she could barely see in the mornings
when the fluid buildup was greatest. Her children had to guide her down the
stairs. Her teenage daughter, Grace, had to drive the younger kids to
school. Mittler used a hair dryer on her eyes, which dries out the blisters
caused by the condition, and about which she says, "You think your hair is
bad in the morning? Blow-dry your eyes. It helped, but only temporarily. She
couldn't see her children's faces, read their moods, sense the time for a
quiet after-school conversation. Slowly, things were being taken away," she
said. After a terrifying drive where she couldn't see the traffic signal at
a major intersection, "I put my keys on the counter and told my husband, 'I
cannot do this any more. I am going to kill them or someone else,' " she
said. The next week she saw her doctor at Loyola University Health System.
She was going blind, she told him. But please, could he just slow down the
process long enough for her to see a few last things? Her daughter Aine
graduating eighth grade. Her son, Tommy, playing on the baseball travel
team. Grace picking out her dress for homecoming. Just one more moment with
each of her children, she pleaded; just one more time seeing her grandson in
her arms. But she wouldn't need one more moment, the doctor told her. She
would have many moments, for years to come. She was an ideal candidate for a
corneal transplant. More than 1,160 people in Illinois received
corneal transplants last year. Mittler had hers at Loyola in 2009. The
morning after the transplant on her left eye, her husband, Tom, lifted the
eye patch to put in drops. He told her to keep her eye shut to protect it
against the light. She opened the eye anyway. There were 4 of her 5
children, gathered to watch the unveiling. She could see them. It turned out
that her post-surgical eye wept as well as it saw. And it saw very well. She
could see the mortar between the bricks in the house across the street, she
excitedly told the community engagement coordinator at the Illinois Eye-Bank
by phone the next day. The petunias the neighbors had planted. Lights on the
Christmas tree. Cracks in the wall. She was, like, 'The house is so dusty,'
" said Grace, 19. We're like, 'Can you get the doctor to redo the surgery?
Five days later, at a farmers market, "I was running around like a crazy
person. The sunflowers, the peppers, the vibrancy of the colors ... I
was (saying), 'Oh, my gosh, look at this! Look at this! Look at this! She
had the surgery on her right eye a few months later. She now sees so well
that she no longer wears glasses. Mittler wrote letters of thanks to the
families of both donors. Such letters are delivered anonymously by the
Illinois Eye-Bank, leaving further contact up to those involved. Her first
donor was a 10-year-old whose cause of death the family did not specify. The
family of her second donor chose not to respond. Mittler is well aware of
the sadness irrevocably attached to her joy. Before her second surgery, "I
thought, 'Oh, gosh, this is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Somebody is
going to be really grieving,' " she said. To see that somebody in that depth
of grief could still turn around and want to do good for someone else ... In
my world, they're a hero," she said. Mittler is now an ambassador for the
Illinois Eye-Bank, telling her story at public events and urging
people to become donors. On Thursday, she will participate in Loyola's
annual candle lighting ceremony honoring donors and families who have
donated organs or tissue through the state's Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue
Network. The hardest part of being a cornea recipient is when I share my
story to donor families," she said. It's a very humbling experience. They
come up and look into my eyes. A year after her surgeries, the Eye-Bank
coordinator teasingly asked if Mittler still saw dirt in her house. She
still saw the dirt, Mittler told her, but she didn't care; there was too
much else to see. And thanks to two people she will never meet, she can see
it all.   ----------  blbrotman at tribune.com  This article is provided to you
as a courtesy of NFB-NEWSLINE® Online for your sole use. The content of this
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