My Cornea Transplant Part Four – My Past is now My Present.


I’ve really put off writing this post for a long time because as I was writing these posts (The First DayDiagnosis & Waiting on a Donor), my transplant was in the past and in many ways, I liked the fact I could reflect on events. Unfortunately, the feelings that I am now describing are very much my present. A few weeks ago, I learned that my right eye had deteriorated to such a degree that another cornea transplant is needed. I’m due to go in for another transplant in May/June (my surgeon has never been wrong with the dates so far!) and I’ve found it quite difficult to accept that this is happening all over again.

As you’ll know from My Cornea Transplant Part Three – Waiting on a Donor , it was a really difficult time for me and my emotions were all over the place.  I talked about how difficult it was to do simple tasks but one of the hardest things I had to do was stay positive.  It’s a strange feeling because I wanted a donor so badly but I was terrified too: the operation, the recovery and would it even be successful? Fear of the unknown terrifies me more than anything else. I’m a bit of a control freak, so I really struggled accepting that this was out of my hands.

And I did what we all do in those situations: I turned to Google.  I went against all the advice I was given and I started doing my own research (BIG MISTAKE!). All I discovered were horror stories and I cried myself to sleep most nights. This time around I have refused to turn to Google because I already have my own experience to base things on.  My left eye recovery was long, painful and full of complications but I don’t have a single regret.  I made the right decision and although I’m terrified (crying right now as I type this) about doing it all again, I have to. There is no other option.

I’m really scared. I sometimes feel mentally exhausted because it took all the strength I had to push myself through the first operation and recovery. I don’t know if I’m ready to do it all over again. Maybe the right eye will heal quicker than the left and not cause as many problems? I jump from being optimistic – almost excited – one minute to ending up in floods of tears the next, worrying about everything that could potentially go wrong. I get angry  because worrying myself sick isn’t going to do me any favours.

I knew the right eye had Keratoconus; I just never thought it would deteriorate to such a degree a transplant was the only option. Sometimes I feel like this is a prison sentence hanging over me. This started just before I turned 28 – I’m now 31.  I’m determined to keep myself going and I’ve done this once, surely I can do it again? It’s a chapter of my life I will never forget (it has changed me in so many ways) but I’m keen to move onto the next and I just want to know the end result. My left eye has improved so much (there are still some stitches my surgeon is keen to remove when they’re ready) and it’s getting stronger all the time.  You know, I sit and think about how I will feel at the very end when I can see facial expressions, read shop signs and not live in a blur. I hold onto that thought (even though I’ll totally break down in floods of tears).

These posts were reflecting on my transplant journey but now, I’m taking you along for the ride! I’m going to blog every single step of the way (and the times that I can’t physically sit and type I have Mr Blues to take care of that).  Don’t worry, there won’t be any gory images but I want everyone to know how important cornea donation really is.  If my story encourages just one person to sign up to become an organ donor, I can justify to myself why this all happened; that’s how I deal with it now.  It might sound dramatic and bit odd, but it gives me a focus.

I’m always keen to chat to others who are facing cornea transplants or just want a little bit more info on my story. If anyone has any questions etc. then please, leave a comment below or tweet me @thingsarahloves. Thank you to everyone for their support – I really appreciate it! One down….one to go!!




  1. March 23rd, 2016 / 11:52 am

    So sorry you have to go through it all over again, but I’m sure it’ll all be good in the end.
    And once this is all behind you, we should definitely go for cake/cocktails/dinner/all of the above!
    xx Sandra | Cake + Whisky

  2. March 28th, 2016 / 10:48 am

    Best of luck with this journey. I know I’m a stranger but I’m sure if you have the strength to write about this with such eloquence then you have the strength to go through another transplant.

    I honestly believe that all organ donation should be opt out if people have a reason they don’t want to donate, though personally I would rather know that when I die if any part of me can help someone live or regain their quality of life that happens. it just makes sense to me. I know I’d want a transplant- any transplant – if I had an illness or disability it could fix.

    Take care, I hope the second time around is easier for you.

    • April 1st, 2016 / 10:35 am

      I can’t even begin to tell you how much your comment means to me = it made me cry (In a very good way, of course!). I have the same views with regards to organ donation and knowing exactly what it feels like sitting waiting for a donor, there is no way I would donate everything I could. There is a shortage of corneas donated in the UK and it makes me so sad. I hope my journey can go a little way to changing that.

      Sarah xx

  3. March 28th, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Just checking in to let you know you are in my thoughts, and thank you so much for sharing your story. If it inspires at least one other person to get on the donor register, that’s a job well done.

    Big loves.

    • April 1st, 2016 / 10:32 am

      Thank you so much. That really means a lot to me and if I can inspire others, that definitely keeps me going.

      Sarah xx

  4. April 3rd, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    Oh Sarah. There are no words. You are just so brave, so inspirational. You’re a fighter. It’s so unfair that you have to face this a second time around when, as you say, it took up all your strength the first time. But I know you. And I know you will face this with that same strength you did the first time around. And I know you are going to be fine. And one day this will all be so worth it. Until then, you have all my love and all my support. I will be beside you every step of the way. You are not alone in this. And you are the bravest person I have ever met. Love you xxxxxx

    • April 12th, 2016 / 7:53 pm

      Aww thank you so much lovely. That seriously means so much to me and I really appreciate all of your support.

  5. May 21st, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    I think you are very brave for writing your story and promoting how important this is. You are bound to be feeling so many emotions that is only natural, you have already been through it before and know how bad it can get, hopefully there will be less complications this time. Good luck and will be checking back regularly to keep up with your journey x

  6. May 21st, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    You have done it once and you CAN do it again. Huge hugs xx

  7. May 21st, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    you are a brave lady indeed and i mirror the other sentiments here, you know you can do it:)
    Hope all goes well and perhaps plan a treat for yourself at te end of all this? something to look forwward to and focus on?
    just a thought.
    Take care now 🙂

  8. May 21st, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    I wanted to go back and read all your posts, but they are all coming up with a 404 error 🙁 I have the option of a cornea transplant because of my eye condition so I was interested to have a read from the start, I’ll come back later and retry the links 🙂

    • May 22nd, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Aww I’m so sorry Sarah -I need to go in and update all my links which I’m doing later on today. I’ll send you a message and please, if you want to chat about the transplant in detail at any time that’s not a problem – I’m more than happy to help.

  9. May 22nd, 2016 / 8:45 am

    This very post is the absolute reason why people should be on the organ donor list. Once my time is up, anything that can be is use to anyone else is up for grabs so to speak. Wishing you luck with your journey x

    • May 22nd, 2016 / 10:32 am

      Awww thank you so much. Cornea donation is so rare and I hope that my story inspires other people to donate their corneas.

  10. Hannah
    May 22nd, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    Best of luck – I definitely need to get myself on the organ donor list now! x

  11. May 22nd, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable that you are scared! My goodness it would terrify me, I am a right wimp with my eyes. I think you are incredibly brave and keep the end game in mind – you will be able to see so much better! H x

  12. May 22nd, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    Its for reasons like this I am on the Organ Donor List! You are one very brave lady and it is perfectly fine to be scared, just think about the outcome to get you through it xx

  13. May 28th, 2016 / 10:41 am

    Sending you lots of love – SO sorry that you have to do this all over again. I am constantly amazed that this operation can be done at all – medical science blows my mind. Sending you much love x

    • May 29th, 2016 / 12:35 pm

      Aww thank you so much Helen, that means a lot to me. It’s incredible what they can do today – I’m so lucky.

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