East Texas Medical Center Tyler will receive recognition this week as a member of the “ Leadership Circle ” by the Transplant Services Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas . In 2004, ETMC staff was able to procure 18 eye and tissue donations. These donations helped to facilitate the transplantation of corneas to 25 area communities surrounding the Tyler area.
“ETMC numbers among our top 20 donor hospitals in North and East Texas ,” according to Mark Buchanan, senior administrative staff associate with UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas. Buchanan says, “ETMC provides an extra level of service to the community because of its efforts in eye donations.”
Over 55,000 cornea transplants are performed annually worldwide with 5,000 people on the waiting list. The surgery helps patients with glared or blurred vision, painful swelling and helps avoid corneal blindness. The first corneal transplant was performed in 1905, with this year marking the centennial celebration. Today over a half a million people have regained vision from the gift of sight through corneal transplantation.