Gina-left-and Deborah meet for the first time
Gina (left) and Deborah meet for the first time. Tony's photo is in the background.

Gina and Deborah

Deborah, a nurse practitioner from California, struggled for months to find the right words to express her gratitude before meeting her cornea donor’s girlfriend, Gina. "I'm so thankful," Deborah told Gina. "It's an unbelievable gift that you and Tony have given me."

Gina’s boyfriend, Tony, was a Washington State trooper who was killed in the line of duty. Tony was a registered organ donor, so five days after his death, Deborah received one of his corneas. Deborah was gradually going blind and was suffering from blurry, double vision. Driving at night and reading text were impossible and she was afraid she would soon have to retire and abandon the low-income patients she served at Pittsburg Health Center.

The fact that Deborah has spent her career helping others is not lost on Gina. “Things have come full circle,” she said. “Tony loved to help others and so does she. Now she can keep doing it.”