Jeanne Scott and Wendy
From left: Jeanne, Scott and Wendy holding photos of Sarah.

Jeanne, Scott and Wendy

Sarah, a cornea donor, had always been a very giving person. So it is very fitting that even after her death, she is still giving today.

Sarah and her sister, Elishia, had signed up to be organ donors when they were teenagers. The message that Sarah’s corneas would be donated came on the day of her memorial service. It was a ray of hope on a dark day.

A few months later, Jeanne happened to meet one of SightLife’s recovery technicians in a parking lot. Recognizing the SightLife logo on his vehicle, she approached him. “You work at SightLife,” she said, tearing up. “My daughter was a…” Jeanne paused, unable to continue. “A donor,” he finished gently for her, and gave her a hug. They talked. He wrote down her number on a napkin. The next day she was contacted by SightLife. That was the beginning of a wonderful gift for Jeanne.

“I didn’t know you can get joy from grief, but you can,” she said. And that joy really started to blossom when Jeanne met Scott, a cornea recipient, and his mother, Wendy, at a SightLife Donation Celebration Picnic.

“It just opened up a new reality for me. Something I never thought I’d be part of, but it’s a beautiful thing,” Jeanne said.

Wendy knew the celebration would be interesting, but she didn’t realize how much it was going to touch her to meet a donor family.

“It made it more personal for me,” Wendy said. She is thankful that this experience has helped teach her son compassion and is glad he can share his story with other teens.

An event like this is life altering for a community of people, from members of the donor family to friends and family of the recipient. Jeanne said she could feel the joy from Scott’s family and she embraced it.

“It’s all emotion,” said Jeanne.” And it is beautiful emotion. That is the best gift ever. The best gift I could have received.”